TRAI diktat sees mixed results
A lot of subscribers claim that they continue to pay same amount and in few cases more in order to watch cable channels of their choice. Some shared that their monthly bill has gone up considerably due to high monthly rent forHD channels.
PUNE: Three months after the implantation of new rules of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), lot of subscribers claim that they continue to pay same amount and in few cases more in order to watch cable channels of their choice. Some shared that their monthly cable bill has gone up considerably due to high monthly rent for high definition (HD) channels.
On the other hand, Multi System Operators (MSOs) have shared that there should be capping on the broadcasters regarding the cost of channels. Both MSOs and Local Cable Operators have claimed that they are struggling due to the loss of revenue.
As per the new rule by TRAI, which came into force in February, cable subscribers have been given a right to choose their favourite channel.
Architect Rubina Ansari (26) from Lohegaon said, “The authorities must cap the rates of channels. The DTH operators are charging whatever amount they wish. My monthly bill has shot up from 350 to 540 now.”
“Earlier, we used to pay Rs 500 but now we are paying only Rs 450. Our bill did reduce, but since we opted for HD channels, there is not much difference,” said Geetika Awasthi, a resident of Balewadi.
On the other hand, Somaji Waykar’s monthly bills reduced as she opted for Standard Definition (SD) channels. She said, “Earlier, we used to pay Rs 560, but now the monthly bill comes to around Rs 400.”
“This rule is very good, but TRAI should put some capping on the pricing of these broadcasters. For example, if you opt for a single channel, it costs Rs 17 and if you take a bouquet, it costs Rs 31. Cost of HD channels is also very high and they cost Rs 19, thus customers are not getting any benefit,” said Baba Shaikh, Gen Next, MSO.
Prachi Shah of Pune Cable Operator Association said, “The chaos continues, we are getting complaints from customers regarding the channels and bills. Many of them are complaining that their bills have increased and also the billing cycle of all the consumers are not same anymore, so we also face a lot of difficulties.”
“Local cable operators are also facing issues due to drop in revenue, as now 80 per cent of the money goes to the broadcasters and out of the remaining 20 per cent, 12 per cent is MSOs share while local cable operators get 8 per cent. Thus, we are left with marginal money to carry out the maintenance work,” added Shah.
Satish Kambiye, President, United Cable Operators Association, Pimpri Chinchwad area, echoed the same sentiment and said, “The workload of cable operators has increased as customers are demanding new channels, it is a big hassle for us. There is not much difference at customer level, as the bills have not reduced much. Income of cable operators have reduced as well.”