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New TV Tariffs: Distributors May Soon Shift Consumers To Best Fit Plans

Following the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) announcement that consumers would be given until March 31 to choose their preferred channels and migrate to the new tariff system, industry sources say it is likely that distributors will begin shifting consumers who haven’t made their choices to ‘Best fit plans’ as soon as possible.

TRAI had noted on Tuesday that to avoid disruption of services to those who haven’t made their choices yet, distribution platform operators (DPO) like cable or DTH operators could migrate them to a ‘Best fit plan’ based on their usage, language and popular channels. “Subscribers will be free to change their ‘Best Fit Plan’ at any date and time on or before March 31, 2019, and DPOs shall convert their ‘Best Fit Plan’ into the desired pack within 72 hours from the time of choice… It is clarified that there will be no ‘lock-in period’ for the subscribers till March 31, 2019 who have been migrated to ‘Best Fit Plan’ by DPOs,” it had added.

This shift to ‘Best fit plans’ are set to be made by DPOs from February itself, since the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) has clarified that broadcasters will begin billing DPOs as per the new tariff system with effect from February 1. “Kindly note that from the month of February 2019 onwards our member broadcasters will be raising invoices on DPOs in accordance with the provisions stipulated by TRAI under the new MRP regime,” IBF clarified on Wednesday.

According to sources, this is set to make DPOs shift their consumers who haven’t exercised their choices to ‘Best fit plans’ in February. “DPOs will have no choice but to migrate subscribers who haven’t made their choices to ‘Best fit plans’ immediately because broadcasters will be billing them under the new tariff system with effect from February 1,” said a senior industry source. ―New Indian Express

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