TRAI Tariff Mandate: Curated Packs By DTH Operators Offer Better Value

Ever since the new broadcasting tariff regime by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) came out, DTH and Cable TV subscribers are complaining about increased TV bills. Several customers across the world said that their TV bills saw an increase of at least 15% under the new mandate. Even Trai admitted that it’s looking to modify the new regime and try to bring down the costs. One of the concerns for Trai is that subscribers are actively moving towards OTT platforms even for watching Live TV channels. While Trai said that it’s going to make modifications, the regulator did not provide any timeline for the same. If you’re one of the DTH subscribers facing an increase in TV bills, then you can opt the curated or DPO packs from your operator as they will save some costs, compared to the individual channels.

Pricing to be Divided into Two Parts

As such, now Telecom Regulatory Authority of India is allowing the subscribers to pay their bills in two parts – the first will be of content charges payable to the channel owners and broadcasters while the other will be in the form of NCF or Network Capacity Fee which will be paid to the cable operators for providing the channel slot. Now the viewers have choices between FTA (Free to Air) channels or paid channels which levy content charges.

Individual Channels and Recommended Packs

The base pack mandated by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India with 100 channels costs Rs 130 for the subscribers. On top of the individual channel offerings, broadcasters have created their own packs, bundling their channels and the DTH service providers have curated their channel packs which package channels from different owners. Besides these two, there is also the obvious choice of choosing individual channels. We decided to make a comparison between these choices to find out which is the better option. In case you have selected either one or are yet to make your choice, then this quick analysis will help you find better pricing for your particular channels.

We did a small overview of channels on D2h and Tata Sky across various genres. Firstly, we took a look at D2h Gold Telugu combo subscription which ships Telugu paid channels along with few Hindi channels and English channels as well. Some of the channels in this pack include Star Maa TV for Rs 19, Discovery for Rs 4, Gemini movies for Rs 17 and so on. On selecting channels individually, we saw that the total cost for all the channels came out to be around Rs 264.50. This total cost was divided between NCF and content charges for the respective pay channels, and it was also excluding taxes. While we visited the d2h official website, the D2h Gold Telugu Combo recommended pack was available for Rs 242, which is less than the individual selection of the same channels.

Few Broadcaster Packs Worthy of Subscription

Same was the case with Tata Sky, where we evaluated the Kids Mini HD pack and other English TV channel packs, which proved to be more beneficial when selected from the Tata Sky recommended packs. Another way is to choose the channels via the broadcaster packs. However, the problem with that is if someone wants to have a mix of Hindi entertainment channels, select infotainment channels and other sports channels, then they would have to pay for all the other unrequired channels from the particular broadcaster. Thus they will end up paying more. Although, there are a few broadcaster bouquets of less pricing like Discovery Basic with eight channels for Rs 9 and Turner family HD pack of Rs 14.75 with five channels which might be a good deal for the subscribers. Except for these few choices, the packs recommended by your DTH provider seem to be the best option to go as they come bundled with discounts.―Telecom Talk

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