Your TV Viewing May Cost 50% More Soon

by GoNews Desk 1 year ago Views 4689

TV Chanels May Cost more After December

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The recent order by TRAI (Telecom Regulation Authority of India), ‘NTO 2.0’ may lead to broadcasters increasing the price of certain popular channels. This move can increase costs for viewers by up to 50% for the same number of TV channels subscribed.

The country’s top four broadcasters, Star & Disney India, Zee Entertainment Enterprises (ZEE), Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) and Viacom18, have updated their channel prices after new regulations by TRAI. Under the new regulations NTO 2.0, the prices of channels within a package or ‘bouquet’ have been capped at ₹12. Therefore, broadcasters are keeping the most demanded and popular channels outside the bouquets which will have to be purchased on an a-la-carte basis.

This will lead to 35-50% increase in charges for channels such as Star Plus, Colors, Zee TV, Sony, and certain general entertainment channels based regionally as users will have to buy them individually.

An anonymous top executive in a broadcasting company said that since the Supreme Court has not yet stayed the NTO 2.0 by TRAI, they have to comply with it until the final order is passed on November 20. “As we (broadcasters) haven’t got any respite from the Supreme Court and the regulator (TRAI) was after us to comply with NTO 2.0 in absence of any stay order, we have decided to come out with the pricing”. The individual has asked for anonymity as the matter is still sub-judice.

In Mumbai, a viewer will have to shell out ₹69 for Star and Disney channels which were earlier available for ₹49. Similarly, she will have to pay a higher cost of ₹71 instead of ₹39 for SPN, ₹49 from ₹39 for ZEE, and ₹39 for Viacom18 channels up from ₹25 earlier.

Indian Broadcasting and Digital Foundation (IBDF) has filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court stating that the new regulations under NTO 2.0 will lead to higher prices.

A distribution head of a broadcasting company has said that “Regulatory overzealousness is leading to this situation. The broadcasters have collectively taken a bold decision of keeping the driver channels out of the bouquets”, adding: “Since last two years, because of the status quo, the distribution revenues have suffered. Now we have decided to increase it by 30-40%. If there is some churn, which is bound to happen, we will still get a 15-20% net increase.”

The higher price rise will impact two sections of consumers on the opposite ends of the class spectrum. On one hand, those from lower SEC (Socioeconomic Class) are likely to move to DD Free Dish, owned by Prasar Bharti, and the other segment of higher SECs will move towards streaming and OTT platforms due to the rise in subscription charges of channels.

“It will be interesting to see how the share of à la carte subscription revenues moves over the next two quarters, as well as the impact on the reach of less popular channels, and related impact on OTT and FreeDish viewership,” said Ashish Pherwani of E&Y

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