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Consumers could choose and pay for only the channels they wished to watch at maximum retail prices. (iStockphoto)
Consumers could choose and pay for only the channels they wished to watch at maximum retail prices. (iStockphoto)

No regulatory burden on broadcasters, say officials

  • The new tariff order (NTO) introduced in 2017 may have drawn criticism but was intended to empower consumers
  • Consumers could choose and pay for only the channels they wished to watch at maximum retail prices

There is no regulatory burden on the broadcast industry, senior government officials said on Thursday in the wake of calls from broadcast executives for less control and more ease of doing business.

The new tariff order (NTO) introduced in 2017 may have drawn criticism but was intended to empower consumers and protect the interests of all stakeholders, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) chairman R.S. Sharma said on the third day of Ficci Frames, an annual media and entertainment industry event that is being held online this year.

“The basic approach of Trai has always been light touch," Sharma said, echoing a point made by information and broadcasting secretary Amit Khare.

“As long as there is fair play in the market, there is no need for us to intervene but the consumer needs to know the costs and have full freedom of choice," he said.

Consumers could choose and pay for only the channels they wished to watch at maximum retail prices instead of the pre-determined bouquets offered by broadcasters earlier, according to the NTO. The tariff order was expected to make channels cheaper but on the ground the opposite happened and the prices of like-to-like options went up.

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