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IBDF moves SC to hike existing channel rates

IBDF moves SC to hike existing channel rates
Two years ago when television channel prices went up by around 40%, it led to a drop in subscription in Kolkata.


IBDF moves SC to hike existing channel rates

The Indian Broadcasting and Digital Federation (IBDF) has moved the Supreme Court with a proposal to offer channels individually at 30% to 50% higher than the existing rates. The proposal is against the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s decision is to cap channel price in bouquets at Rs 12 from December 1.

Tapash Das, joint convenor of All Bengal Cable TV and Broadband Operators’ United Forum, highlighted that two years ago when channel prices went up by around 40%, it  led to a drop in subscription in Kolkata. “This time, another 25%-30% hike has been proposed which, in effect, will lead to a 50%-60% rise in subscription charges since 2019.”

According to the proposal, major sports, entertainment, infotainment and movie channels will now be priced between Rs 15 and Rs 30. If the apex court gives the green light for the hike, monthly cable TV subscription price could rise by around 50% from next month. It should be noted that major broadcasters, including Star and Disney India, Sony Pictures Networks India, Zee Entertainment and Viacom 18 have come up with new price lists keeping their flagship channels out of bouquets and pricing them between Rs 15 and Rs 30.

The broadcasters, as per Exchange4Media, had to make the difficult choice of either continuing with the same bouquet composition by reducing the price of driver channels to Rs 12 or to pull out these channels from the bouquet and provide them as a la carte offerings to consumers at a higher price because of the restrictions placed by TRAI.

The broadcast tariff has remained frozen for the last two years due to litigation. Experts are of the opinion that broadcast tariff for each TV home will go up by at least Rs 100. They pointed out that TV customers are already paying higher subscription fees under NTO 1.0 due to the addition of the Network Capacity Fee (NCF), which is earned by the Distribution Platform Operators.

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Furthermore, if television channels rates are hiked, there will be a significant shift to OTT as it will look more affordable. The migration from pay DTH platforms to DD Free Dish will also accelerate.



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