TRAI’s new rules hitting us hard, say cable operators
The paid channel service has been discontinued for customers who have not opted for the channel.
PUNE: The new rules of Telecom Regulation Authority of India (TRAI) have created turmoil for cable companies, operators and consumers as the paid channel services offered have been stopped in a lot of households in Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad areas for past two days after the six-day extension given by TRAI ended on February 6.
“The decision has been taken in a hurry and not much time was given to the cable operators. The new rules have affected us badly. Due to the customised feature in TRAI order that allows a customer to pay for the channel they prefer, there is a lot of confusion and the services have been disrupted. It will take at least a month for all the customers to receive the paid channels without disruption,” said Satish Kambiye, President, United Cable Operator Association, Pimpri-Chinchwad area.
As per TRAI’s new rules, cable subscribers have given the rights to select their favourite TV channels. As the extended deadline ended on Wednesday, the paid channel service has been discontinued for customers who have not opted for the channel.
Talking about the commission dispute, Kambiye said, “As per the order, 80 per cent of the paid channel price goes to the broadcasters and 20 per cent of the price is shared with MSO (multi-system operators) and LCO (local cable operators) with the ratio of 55 per cent and 45 per cent respectively. Even cable operator is supposed to share the 55 per cent of Network Capacity Fee which is Rs 130 plus GST with MSO.”
“This rule is simply to crush the local cable operators and there is hardly any revenue for us to sustain our infrastructure. There should be a fair share of revenue between different stakeholders like broadcasters, MSO and LCO,” he added.
Kambiye demanded that 40 per cent of the paid channel money should go to them as broadcasters get the revenue from the advertising and MSO gets revenue from the broadcasters for the frequencies allocation.
“The Network Capacity Fee which is Rs 130 plus GST per consumer also get shared between MSO and LCO but we want that fees to be completely with us as they are from our subscribers. We have filed a case in the High Court but we are yet to get a date for the hearing,” said Prachi Shah of Pune Cable Operator Association.
“With such a less revenue it is difficult to sustain as we need to pay for the electricity, amplifiers, maintenance and workers,” added Shah.