Telecom Regulatory Authority of India or TRAI has decided to postpone the implementation of new cable TV regulations, indefinitely.
The new rules were supposed to be implemented as on December 29th, and this means an increase of cable TV rates by approximately 50-60 percent overnight will NOT happen now.
TRAI has informed all cable operators, broadcasters, consumers and the public at large that the implementation of the new cable TV regulations has been put on hold.
No timeline has been provided for the same. This means that plan to implement new regulations have been postponed indefinitely.
TRAI has said that a new ‘migration plan’ will be put in place, which will allow all consumers and cable TV operators, broadcasters to implement the change with ease.
TRAI said, “There will be no disruption of TV Services due to implementation of the new regulatory framework. Keeping in view the interest of the subscribers and to enable a smooth transition, the Authority is preparing a detailed Migration Plan for all the existing subscribers.”
Why Has TRAI Postponed This Major Change in Cable TV?
Lack of clarity regarding the new rules, and mass confusion and chaos seems the reason.
If you go through the press release by TRAI, there is mention of an alleged ‘cable TV blackout’ after December 29th, which triggered this decision to put on hold the decision.
In the point #3 of the press release, TRAI said, “The Authority has noticed that there are messages circulating in the media that there may be a black-out of existing subscribed channels on TV screens after December 29, 2018. The Authority is seized of the matter and hereby advises that all Broadcasters/DPOs/LCOs will ensure that any
Channel that a consumer is watching today is not discontinued on 29.12.2018.”
The fear of cable TV blackout is indeed real, and last week, TRAI had issued special instructions to all cable TV operators stating that there should be no blackout of pay channels due to the implementation of new rules. However, social media has been abuzz with fears of a blackout, as consumers were not exactly aware of the situation.
Questions like how to choose the best plan, which channel is providing which ‘packs’, what is the price of individual channels etc were still unanswered. We had updated the latest MRP of each pay channel, but then, price cuts were announced later which added to the confusion.
So, What Is Next?
We are assuming that TRAI will now instruct and direct cable TV operators to launch an awareness campaign regarding the new cable TV plans, and DTH plans/packages.
Consumers will be informed about the new DTH plans and cable TV rules and will be allowed to make an informed decision.― TRAK