Tata Sky, the DTH service from the Tata Group, has become the first DTH platform to put into effect the amended TRAI tariff order, with only hours to go before the March 1 deadline.
Other DTH operators are likely to follow suit in the next few hours.
The first step towards implementing the new tariff rules, also called NTO 2.0, is to reduce the network charge or NCF.
Tata Sky customers who are logging into their selfcare portal can now see a reduced NCF.
Earlier, anyone who activated more than 70 channels of his or her own choice had to shell out Rs 150 plus tax, with the rates going up by Rs 20 plus tax for every additional 25 channels.
Now, customers can see that their network charge remains static at Rs 130 plus tax until they have crossed the 200 channel limit. Beyond 200 channels, Tata Sky customers will have to pay an extra Rs 30 plus tax as NCF. Under the amended TRAI tariff order, the maximum network charge that any cable or DTH operator can levy is Rs 160 plus tax, no matter how many channels the subscriber has activated.
Tata Sky will also remove most of the existing channel packs from its selfcare portal overnight.
These will include most of the channel packs from big broadcasters like Zee, Star, Sony, Sun and TV18, as well as most of Tata Sky’s own curated and base packs.
The amended tariff order also requires all cable and DTH operators to remove all channel packs that contain any channel priced above Rs 12.
While broadcasters like Zee and Star have refused to come up with alternative packages, players like Tata Sky, Dish TV and Airtel Digital are likely to come up with new packages in conformity with the revised guidelines published by TRAI on January 1.
At present, nearly all channel packs — whether designed by the channel owners or the cable/DTH operator — contain at least one channel which is priced at Rs 17 or 19.
As such, all these packs will become illegal to be offered from midnight, and any cable or DTH operator who continues to offer them can end up facing fines and other penalties from TRAI. Ultra News