No comebacks on Tariff Order: TRAI chairman

03 May,2012

By A Correspondent


While the News Broadcasters Association has protested against the tariff order for digital cable TV issued by TRAI on April 30, saying that the order ‘legalized’ carriage fee, TRAI Chairman JS Sarma has maintained that there is no cause for dissatisfaction on carriage fee.


In an interview to NDTV 24×7, Mr Sarma said: “Carriage fee is now a well-regulated issue and it should be transparent. We will intervene if required but we won’t relook at the recommendations.”


The NBA claims, “The primary purpose of digitization 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 legalized the practice of ‘carriage fees’ and given distributors the freedom to unilaterally set the amount of ‘carriage fees’ broadcasters must pay.”


The TRAI has also prescribed that the MSOs increase their channel carrying capacity. In its recommendation, MSOs have been mandated to carry a minimum of 500 channels by January 1, 2013. TRAI stated in its order, “The Authority has mandated MSOs to carry a minimum of 500 channels from January 1, 2013. However, keeping in view that smaller MSOs having less than 25,000 subscribers may need some additional time for building capacity, they have been given time up to April 1, 2013.”


The TRAI has prescribed that every MSO should have a minimum capacity to carry 200 channels by July 1.


The Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) convened a board meeting to discuss the issues pertaining to the TRAI order. A press statement is scheduled to be released on the issue later today.


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One response to “No comebacks on Tariff Order: TRAI chairman”

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