Broadcasters ready for NTO 3.0 pricing this month

  • Media and entertainment industry experts say broadcasters see price hikes as inevitable since content costs, especially sports rights acquisitions, have climbed up, in the past few years

Lata Jha
First Published1 Feb 2023
Broadcasters ready for NTO 3.0 pricing this month
Broadcasters ready for NTO 3.0 pricing this month

NEW DELHI: Television broadcasters who have increased their bouquet and popular channels’ prices between 10-15%, under the new amendments to the tariff order, or NTO 3.0, are optimistic about the hikes coming into play this month.

“So far, more than 80% of operators across the country have signed up with broadcasters under the new pricing regime. This is an extremely encouraging start under the NTO 3.0 regime and we expect that others will also sign up over the next few days,” Siddharth Jain, secretary general, IBDF (Indian Broadcasting and Digital Foundation) said in a statement. IBDF is an apex body of television broadcasters.

Media and entertainment industry experts say broadcasters see price hikes as inevitable since content costs, especially sports rights acquisitions, have climbed up, in the past few years. “Plus, the factor of inflation has to be considered. Broadcasters see this as an overdue correction and a step in the right direction. However, if consumers choose to discontinue TV subscriptions, there are many factors that are attributed to it," a senior broadcaster said declining to be named.

To be sure, Indian direct-to-home (DTH) operators such as Tata Play, Dish TV and Airtel Digital TV have already been gearing up to implement the new pricing regime starting 1 February. Under the new amendments, or NTO 3.0, broadcasters were allowed by the sector regulator to increase the price of channels, which are part of a bouquet, to 19 from 12 earlier. The new pricing is effective 1 February.

Meanwhile, the cable industry is concerned with the price hike, and the All India Digital Cable Federation (AIDCF), a lobby group of multi-system-operators (MSO), has already petitioned the Kerala high court against the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) tariff amendment - NTO 3.0, asking for a stay on the implementation of the same. While the court has declined to stay the tariff order, it has listed the matter for 8 February.

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