90 Percent TV Viewers Would Hopefully State Their Choice Of Channels By Feb 1 Deadline: TRAI

Telecom regulator TRAI is expecting at least 90 percent TV viewer onboarding by February 1 when the new regulatory tariff for DTH and cable operators is implemented, PTI quoted its Chairman RS Sharma.

TRAI is also tracking the movement in customer choices recorded by Distribution Platform Owner (DPO) and the broadcasters.

“The Authority has been monitoring the progress in regards to the preparedness of the service providers in capturing the options exercised by the consumers,” TRAI said in a statement.

Sharma admitted that while the progress in recording customer preference didn’t speed up, it has gained pace in the past few days. “Looking at the trend, we feel, we will be able to reach the figure of over 90 percent by January 31,” Sharma told PTI.

The regulator said on January 24 that approximately 40 percent of the consumers have stated their choices and that the service providers have also assured of obtaining options of all their subscribers by January 31.

TRAI refuted information around the further extension of the deadline to be under consideration.

The Authority reiterates that there is no reason to consider any extension in view of the significant momentum in obtaining the choices and the assurances of all the service providers. The subscribers who exercise their option within the prescribed time will be migrated from 1st February 2019, it said.

TRAI had rolled out the new tariff order and regulatory regime for the broadcast and cable sector for viewers to pick and pay for channels of their choice instead of other channels that earlier bundled up in the entire package.

TRAI had said every channel should be offered a la carte, with a transparent display of rates.

The regulator had earlier noticed instances of few Multi-Systems Operators (MSOs) in far-flung areas and smaller towns avoiding implementation of the new tariff.

“The Authority reiterates that every Distribution Platform Owner (DPO) and the Broadcaster must implement the regulatory framework as per the press release dated 3rd July 2018.”

TRAI has launched two separate online portals, one for ‘Frequently Asked Questions’, rates of all the pay-TV channels on a-la-carte, and the bouquets of pay channels offered by the broadcasters, etc., and second to help customers select the channels of their choice and estimate their monthly bill.―Financial Express

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