New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday accepted telecom regulator Trai’s plea for more time to work out a fresh tariff regime for cable services in general cable TV (non-CAS) areas, based on a classification of cities and the number of pay channels provided.
A Bench headed by Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan allowed time till 31 December to complete the exercise.
However, it continued its earlier order that said tariffs that were there when the Telecom Disputes and Settlement Appellate Tribunal rejected Trai’s order that put a ceiling on cable service charges would continue.
This means multi-system operators (MSOs) and local cable operators will charge tariffs in accordance with Trai’s directions then, between Rs132 and Rs260 for cable services in non-CAS areas, and broadcasters cannot enhance tariffs by more than 7% for services and they will have to offer channels to consumers in a manner by which they can choose.
Trai counsels Harish Salve and Sanjay Kapur submitted that the regulator needed time till 31 December to complete the exercise for fixing cable tariffs.
However, it rejected the objection raised by MSOs that no more extension should be given to Trai. Earlier, MSOs had even opposed capping the carriage charges saying that it was not the subject matter of the appeal and it should also include advertisement charges.