NEW DELHI: Giving television consumers the choice to pay only for what they watch, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (Trai) new rules will be enforced upon all DTH, cable and multi-system operators like Airtel DTH TV, Tata Sky and Dish TV from tomorrow. The regulatory body has made it clear that consumers who already have an ongoing long-term pack will not face a blackout.
According to the new Trai regulations, all operators will have to offer a base package of 100 channels at a maximum price of ₹130, excluding GST. While free-to-air (FTA) channels will remain free in the base pack, any addition of pay channels will be charged extra. The consumer will have the freedom to choose any 100 TV channels in the base package.
New TRAI rules will change your Airtel DTH, Tata Sky, Dish TV plans in 2019
All subscribers will have to migrate to the new mechanism from tomorrow. According to Trai guidelines, TV services may be disrupted in case a consumer doesn’t make the shift. However, the rules require the DTH operators to honour pre-paid commitment on ongoing long-duration packs, if customer wishes to continue with them.
According to the guidelines, if you want to migrate to the new mechanism mid-way despite having a long-term plan then the remaining money will be adjusted against the new bill.
"Where customers have already exercised their choice and decided to move to the new framework, if they have long or short duration packs, it (the payment made) will get adjusted. In those cases where people have not yet migrated and they have a long or short duration plan already on, the regulation clearly states that customers have the choice to continue with it, till the plan expires," Trai chairman RS Sharma had told PTI recently. He said the right to choose - whether to continue with ongoing long duration pack till its expiry, or migrate to the new regime and have the balance adjusted - will remain with the customer.
Ahead of the implementation of the new regulatory regime, broadcast networks have announced the a la carte plans of individual TV channels as well as for bouquet of several channels. DTH operators may offer those TV channels at a discounted rate but cannot charge more than the MRP.
The TRAI has come up with a portal www.channeltariff.trai.gov.in which lists the price of all pay channels as well as bouquet packages of all broadcasters.