DTH companies can pick and choose channels, says Trai

DTH companies can pick and choose channels, says Trai

New Delhi: In a far-reaching decision ensuring delivery of quality channels to DTH subscribers, the telecom regulator has directed all broadcasters not to compel DTH operators to buy the entire bouquet of channels but let them pick what they think are the best.

The new regulation brought out on 3 September 2007 by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) could intensify the survival struggle of less-performing or recently-launched channels, which have been piggy-riding the popular channels in the bouquet offered by the broadcaster.

Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable Services) Interconnection (Fourth Amendment) Regulation 2007, coming in force from 1 December 2007, allows broadcasters to sell the bouquet only in addition to the a la carte choice of the DTH service providers.

The new regulation aims to resolve the ongoing tussle between the broadcaster and DTH operator where the latter had been protesting against taking less popular, even flop channels alongwith the hit ones in a bouquet.

“All broadcasters will compulsorily offer all their channels on a la carte basis to DTH operators," the new regulation says.

“Additionally, they may also offer bouquets, but they will not compel any DTH operator to include the entire bouquet in any package being offered by DTH operators to their subscribers," it adds.