The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) issued a new regulatory framework for cable and DTH operators, wherein these companies had to offer customers complete choice when it came to choosing channels for their television subscription, and the idea here was that customers would pay only for the channels that they wished to watch, rather than rely on packs decided by the companies.
The rules came into effect on February 1, and later TRAI extended the deadline to March 31 for customers to choose their channels. That deadline has now officially expired and customers will be moved to the ‘Best Fit Plan.’
For those who are not aware, the new TRAI rules require, that the user should go to the official website, app of their cable or DTH operator, and then choose their channels. Users can get 100 channels for a Network Capacity Fee (NCF) of Rs 130 per month + 18 percent GST, which brings it to Rs 153 in total.
In these 100 channels, users will also get 25 free Doordarshan channels, which cannot be deleted from the pack. If users add paid channels or paid bouquets to these 100 channels, then the price of those will be added extra, in addition to the Rs 153 NCF charge.
For those who choose more than the 100 channels, there will be an additional NCF of Rs 20 in a slab of 25 channels. So for example, if you choose 150 channels, your total NCF will be Rs 130+20+20, which is Rs 170 and 18% GST.
All cable, DTH companies have a list of prices for each individual channel listed on their website. There are also bouquet packs from broadcasters, which club some channels together for a lower cost, but then this another monthly addition to your pack.
So what are these ‘Best Fit plans’ from DTH companies and cable operators?
TRAI has said that cable operators and DTH companies can offer customers a ‘Best Fit Plan’ based on their television consumption habits. You might find that this ‘Best Fit Plan’ has already been activated on your account if you have not yet confirmed your channel choice to the operator.
Users will have to login to the website of their DTH operator like say Tata Sky, Airtel Digital TV, Dish TV, Videocon, Hathway, and then see whether this ‘Best Fit Plan’ has been activated. Users will have the option of changing or tweaking these ‘Best Fit Plans’ as well, given most players are giving users the option of modifying or changing pack choices.
The ‘Best Fit Plan’ is supposed to be based on the channels that you watch a lot on your television subscription. For instance, in one of our Tata Sky subscriptions, the best fit plan was already activated, which has a lower monthly cost compared to the bill in the earlier regulatory framework. However, we have the option of tinkering with these channel options as well.
Again not everyone will see a drop in costs of their television bills under the new regime, especially if you decide to more add paid channels and also if these are at the HD resolution. Remember one HD channels counts as two SD channels in your base pack of 100 channels. The ‘Best Fit Plan’ is for those customers who are confused on how to choose new packs and channels.―The Indian Express