DTH and cable TV consumers should expect the prices for their television packages to start increasing soon.
After a long legal battle, broadcasters have conceded to implement the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s New Tariff Order 2.0 from Febraury 1.
While broadcasters will release their exact tariff plan at the start of the next month, DTH companies have started notifying customers of the impeding price rise.
A spokesperson at Tata Play told businessline, “Tata Play will be complying with the New Tariff Order from February 1, 2023. The increase will be carried out in steps over a period of 4 to 6 weeks. Prices will increase only by 5-6 per cent for most of the customers, after remaining the same for the last 4 years.”
Airtel has also started notifying resvised tariffs to its DTH subscribers.
After an immense pushback from broadcasters for the TRAI’s television tariff policy, the TRAI has called for the implementation of the following framework- channels which have an maximum retail price of ₹19 or less will only be permitted to be a part of a bouquet. If the channel is priced above ₹19, it will be offered on an a-la-carte basis. Further, a broadcaster can offer a discount of up to 45 per cent while pricing its bouquet of pay channels over the sum of all the pay channels in that bouquet.
TRAI also added in its in November notice, “All the distributors of television channels shall ensure that services to the subscribers, with effect from February 1, 2023, are provided as per the bouquets or channels opted by them.”
“On the basis of government’s new guideline, there has been an increase in the DigitalTV tariff. The total rental for your Airtel DigitalTV has been increased by ₹ 17.7/month on account of topup channels subscribed by you, effective from 31 January 2022,” said a notification by Airtel digital to a customer.
Sources also told businessline that broadcasters have notified TRAI about their respective tariff plan. At present, it remains unknown whether broadcasters will be removing their premium channels from the DTH and cable bouquets in response to TRAI’s refusal to increase the base price of channels in the bouquets from ₹19.
The tariff revision comes at a time when DTH players have been losing subscribers over the last 2 years as they shift to online streaming services.