Info-tech

TRAI tariff order: Supreme Court respite for broadcasters

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani New Delhi | Updated on January 03, 2019 Published on January 03, 2019

Already broadcasters have on an average priced their new channel bouquets 40-50 per cent cheaper. File Photo   -  The Hindu

With a petition of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) seeking clarity on the 15 per cent bouquet discount cap getting “ dismissed as withdrawn” in the Supreme Court on Thursday, broadcasters can continue to give discounted pricing on their channel bouquets without any restrictions.

Already broadcasters have on an average priced their new channel bouquets 40-50 per cent cheaper than the a-la-carte pricing of the comprising pay channels.

Industry experts said consumers may find bouquets more attractive rather than opting for channels on an a-la-carte basis in the new broadcast regulatory regime.

A senior executive with a distribution platform said, “This is expected to make channel bouquets more sellable to consumers. It will be difficult for them to now opt for channels on an a-la-carte basis if it works out to be more expensive than bouquets. ”

Abneesh Roy, Senior Vice-President, Edelweiss Securities said this is positive for broadcasters as they will have the freedom to package and price their channels bouquets. He added this will also make niche channels viable for broadcasters

But, will this make broadcasters take a re-look at their bouquet and channel pricing? Atul Das, Chief Revenue Officer - affiliate revenue, ZEE said, “The development in the Supreme Court does not impact ZEE’s pricing strategy. Our bouquet pricing is in accordance with the regulations.”

The regulator’s initial aim behind the provision of the 15 per cent cap was to make sure that cost of the bouquet cannot be less than 85 per cent of the comprising pay channels. Industry sources, however, said that two additional petitions on the same issue are pending before the courts.

Published on January 03, 2019
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