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New Broadcast Pricing Regime: 50 Percent Subscribers Have Not Selected TV Channels Yet

The new pricing regime issued by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) in the broadcast space which allows customers to pay only for TV channels they wish to watch, kicks in on February 1. But, 50 percent of the 165 million TV households of the country is yet to inform the operators of their choice of channels.

The biggest challenge is being faced by cable and direct-to-home operators, who are reaching out to their customers to find out their choices.

The process was ideally supposed to be concluded by January 21, but the final deadline now is January 31. “Majority of our members have approached 65-70 percent of their consumers and the momentum is building on the ground,” a spokesperson of the All India Digital Cable Federation told the paper.

“We have sent SMSes and emails to our subscribers. There is information running on the default channel. Many of our local cable operators have also started reaching out to end-users. The information is also available on consumer apps,” he added.

TRAI secretary SK Gupta chaired a meeting on January 21 with the distribution platforms, all of whom promised to complete the process by January 26. Gupta reportedly said that licenses of companies that fail to comply with the rules will be revoked. The chief executive officers of all broadcast and distribution companies are expected to report to TRAI chairman RS Sharma about the status of the transition.

Subscribers yet to choose their channels may get transferred to a basic free-to-air pack which has 100 standard-definition channels for Rs 130 per month.―Moneycontrol

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