Consumers Have The Right To Pick A-la-carte Channels

With broadcasters offering bouquets of their channels to subscribers in the new broadcast regulatory regime, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) said that consumers should keep in mind that they can also choose channels on an a-la-carte basis.

In a statement, TRAI said, “Now it has been noticed that several broadcasters are advertising their channels in the form of bouquets only. However, the customer may note that they have the option to choose channels on an a-la-carte basis also.”

“The consumer has complete freedom to choose his desired 100 Standard Definition (SD) channels within the network capacity fee of maximum Rs 130. The desired channels could be a-la-carte free-to-air channels or pay channels or bouquet of pay channels or any combination thereof. The choice completely rests with the consumers,” the telecom and broadcast regulator clarified.

TRAI said that consumers can view the Maximum Retail Price of a channel on an a-la-carte basis on their Electronic Programme Guide (EPG) or Menu of their TV screens.

“Distribution Platform Operator (DPO) such as cable operators and DTH operators may provide a discount on the MRP displayed on the EPG,” it added.

Currently, most broadcasters have bundled their channels into various bouquets depending on genres and territories and have largely priced them cheaper compared with the a-la-carte pricing of the constituent channels. Consumers need to communicate their choices for new subscription plans to their cable operators and Direct-to-Home service providers before January 31 to avoid disruptions in their TVs in lieu of the implementation of the new Trai tariff order.―The Hindu Business Line

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