TRAI’s new framework for channels and DTH providers came into effect from February 1. Though the transition was smooth and there was no blackout, the new rules require subscribers of DTH and cable to choose channels and packs. The new rules are aimed at offering “freedom of choice” to consumers and give them “direct control” on their monthly bill for television services.
With the new rules in place, subscribers can select only the channels they like. One can also remove channels they do not wish to watch from their existing channel pack. So, what impact will TRAI’s new rules have on the monthly bill of subscribers? We take a look.
Base subscription is 130 for 100 channels
The base monthly fee for 100 channels is common across all operators, which is Rs 130+18 per cent GST and it comes to around Rs 153. All subscribers will have to pay Rs 153 as a base fee for up to 100 channels. Those who add more than 100 channels to their pack will need to pay Rs 20 extra for 25 channels. This is the network capacity fee, which will be charged extra to the Rs 130, plus taxes.
Channel prices capped at Rs 19
TRAI has fixed the price of channels to Rs 19. However, do note that one High Definition (HD) channel counts as two Standard Definition (SD) channels so a higher price could be reflected for some channels. Several channels including from Doordarshan are free-to-air so subscribers will not need to pay for them.
Channel packs and prices
DTH providers like Airtel, Dish, Tata Sky as well as cable operators have put out individual channel prices, which are inclusive of taxes on their website. Subscribers can choose individual channels to make their own monthly pack or choose from packs listed by providers. The curated monthly packs are based on the user’s TV patterns and the channels that they are currently subscribed to.
Essentially, subscribers will be paying from Rs 150 plus minimum for the tier of 100 channels. For any special channels, people will have to pay extra.