[60 Days to D-Day] NBA damns Order for ‘legitimizing’ carriage fees

02 May,2012

By A Correspondent

 

News Broadcasters Association (NBA), the apex association of Indian news broadcasters, has expressed “shock” and “dismay” at TRAI’s Tariff Order.

 

The Notification has legitimised the very practice the NBA had hoped would be ended, said secretary general Annie Joseph in a communiqué, referring to the payment of “steep” carriage fees by broadcasters: “The primary purpose of digitisation was to increase the number of channels broadcasted. The objective was to give consumers greater choice and to eliminate the phenomenon of ‘carriage fees’, which were being charged due to capacity constraints. However, the NBA is distressed and disappointed that TRAI’s new notification has actually legalised the practice of ‘carriage fees’ and given distributors the freedom to unilaterally set the amount of ‘carriage fees’ broadcasters must pay.”

 

Ms Joseph added: “This unfairly penalises broadcasters and threatens the very survival of the broadcasting industry.” The NBA has urged the government and TRAI to take corrective action.

 

A member of the cable trade pooh-poohed the NBA’s reaction as childish. “Let them set up their own distribution mechanism and see how much they will need to pay. If we bleed, they will cease to exist,” a senior industry person told MxMIndia, requesting anonymity.

 

We are fine with rationalising carriage fees, but not eliminating them, the industryperson from the distribution sector added. “They should look at increasing ad rates to earn more,” he said, arguing that carriage fees are justified

 

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