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Broadcasters to pull out their GECs from DD Free Dish

In anticipation of the implementation of the New Tariff Order (NTO) 2.0, Star, Sony, Viacom and Zee are worried about the flight of customers from pay distribution platforms to DD Free Dish 18. They have pulled out their respective popular channels (general entertainment channels-GECs) from the bouquets offered to Fee Dish. This will also help increase their average revenue per user (ARPU). However, they will keep their other channels (non-GECs) on the platform.

The four networks Star, Sony, Viacom18 and Zee have 12 channels on DD Free Dish across GEC, movie, music and regional genres. The channels that will be pulled out from DD Free Dish are Star Utsav, Zee Anmol, Colors Rishtey, and Sony Pal.

The NTO 2.0 will come into force from June 1 once the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) relesaes its consultation paper. . The consultation paper is likely to address the concerns of the broadcasters including the reduction in MRP and easing restrictions on bundling.

The four broadcast networks had last pulled out their GECs from DD Free Dish in March 2019 only to make a comeback in June 2020. The broadcasters had to withdraw channels as these were converted from FTA to Pay. The conversion was done to comply with the NTO regime which disallowed bundling of FTA and Pay channels.

The subscriber churn from pay platforms to DD Free Dish has huge implications for Pay TV broadcasters. Apart from the price freeze due to NTO 2.0, the decline in pay universe has impacted the subscription revenue of broadcasters. BCS Bureau

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