TRAI doing the right thing
I am a big television fan. Although I hardly get the time to indulge in this passion of mine. However my area of television is very restricted. It's mainly cricket (not even all the sports) and Bollywood and Tollywood. So I find it very annoying that I have to pay for the whole packages. The TV Broadcasters have been overcharging us by giving us packages with channels we don't even watch. We now really need to #StopTheLoot
In the recent months, TRAI are facing an ongoing battle with the Broadcasters, especially with the people of Star group. Now, the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal of broadcasters and cemented Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) tariff order for pricing and packaging of TV channels.As per the new tariff order, broadcasters were required to declare the MRP and nature of all the channels.
So basically, they would have to put it up on their websites and social media that they are following the order by TRAI and submit a list of paid channels and grouped channels online. What TRAI is trying to do is give the consumer more options, and the broadcasters are affected as the prices for channels have been dropped marginally, giving us the option to choose only the channels we want to watch, and not the entire package.
Does it benefit the Consumer? Maybe!
It is debatable, although TRAI claims its basically keeping in mind the consumer’s choices. But we are still to find out the long game TRAI is playing. Some of their mandate is mentioned below -
• A-la-carte offering -Now the broadcasters are required to offer all their television channels on an a-la-carte basis. I of course am going to choose just sports!
• Spreading the news out-Now the broadcasters are required to publish a reference, which mentions the maximum retail price of a pay channel per month and the maximum retail price of a bouquet of pay channels per month.
• Maximum discounts -Watching only a few channels but paying for the entire package? It hurts the wallet, right? Since channels will be provided on a a-la-carte basis, it would be cheaper instead of buying the entire package.
The Supreme Court, by keeping the validity of the Regulations and the Tariff Order, has changed the broadcasting game in India, as this will certainly have an impact on how consumers are offered television channels and essentially allowing more flexibility and true choice to consumers in relation to the channels they want to subscribe to and pay for.
I am not sure how this would play out at the end of the day, however, I hope that the consumers get a chance to choose their options rather than the operators choosing it for them. Hopefully, next year would be a year for consumers, and not money makers.
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