The new Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) National Tariff Order has been widely criticised, and many broadcasters and consumers have opposed it.
We continue to see the effects of the NTO and the revised version of this order, NTO 2.0, even now. Subscribers must first purchase channel “slots” from the cable operator, which is known as the Network Capacity Fee, which is set at a maximum of Rs 130.
At this price, the consumers get access to 100 channels, which can be either FTA or paid as a-la-carte. But, in these 100 channels, 25 were being occupied by the mandatory channels, but now this has changed.
The Mandatory Channels
As per this rule, when the subscribers buy 100 channel slots from the cable operator, they are eligible to add fee FTA channels in those, hence keeping their monthly payment constant at Rs 153 (included taxes), or if they wish to pay more and watch certain channels, they can add paid channels from certain broadcasters as well.
Now the presence of 25 mandatory channels means that the subscribers only get 75 slots to fill in their choices for channels that they want to watch. If their choices exceeded this number, then they would have to pay more NCF to increase their channel capacity to 200.
Rajya Sabha TV And Lok Sabha TV
Now, with the split of Rajya Sabha TV and Lok Sabha TV, which were one channel a few months back, this mandatory channel number has been increased to 26.
Under the banner of Sansad TV, sources said, Lok Sabha TV will continue to telecast live proceedings of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha TV that of the Rajya Sabha.
“During the inter-session period and beyond the working hours of Parliament, both the variants will telecast common content to a large extent. LSTV platform would telecast programme in Hindi while RSTV platform would do so in English. The two language variants it was felt enables better branding and increased viewership,” a top official said.
Subscribers of all DTH companies like D2h, Tata Sky, and others are seeing this change. This means that subscribers now have one less slot to put in their channel of choice.
The total number of independently selectable channels in the Rs 130 NCF cost has come down further to 74. It’s worth noting that the government has floated tender for a new channel called DD International, which if goes live and is added to the mandatory list, then the open channel slots in the same NCF price will go down to 73. Trak