Hyderabad: Viewers Claim TRAI’s Per Channel Pay Costly

In a bid to make DTH and cable TV economical, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) imp-lamented a framework of ‘per channel pay’, which has turned out to be a nightmare for viewers.

Many viewers allege that they are having to pay more since the policy was implemented on March 31. As per policy, cable and direct to home (DTH) subscribers have the freedom to pay for channels they choose.

Previously, a study by an independent group, Credit Rating Information and Services Limited (Crisil), estimated that the revised network capacity fee (NCF) and channel prices announced by broadcasters and distributors could increase the monthly bill of most subscribers.

Mr Sachin Gupta, an expert, in a statement, “Based on current pricing, the monthly TV bill can go up by 25 per cent from Rs 230-Rs 240 to Rs 300 for viewers who opt for the top 10 channels. It will come down for those who opt for up to top five channels.”

In a statement in February, TRAI chairman Ram Sevak Sharma had said: “In three months, we expect prices of various channels to go down.”

Mr Abhishek E., a resident of the city, said, “The experience for choosing TV channels has not been good for many people. The monthly cost has increased. It is difficult to choose channels and keep the cost in check. Irrespective of the combination we choose, the final outcome is more money and less channels compared to what we were getting previously.”

By implementing the framework, Trai intended to usher in transparency and uniformity in television viewing, with more freedom to viewers. Experts believe that content will be king. It will lead to an unequal market for content creators. Those who have big pockets will end up eating the subscriber base of small players. The price of each channel is capped at `19.―Deccan Chronicle

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