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TRAI defers implementation of broadcast regulations again

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Friday extended the deadline for the implementation of New Tariff Order (NTO) 2.0 for broadcasters to November 30. Earlier, NTO 2.0 was supposed to be implemented from June 1. This means the new consumer pricing for TV channels and bouquets for subscribers will now come into effect from November 30.

Under NTO 2.0, TRAI has reduced the cap on the maximum retail price of individual channels that can be part of a bouquet to Rs 12 from Rs 19 per month. The order also sets conditions for formation of channel bouquets.

The Indian Broadcasting Foundation is opposed to this move but has failed to get any relief from the court.

TRAI has initiated another consultation process in the matter to address the concerns of stakeholders. The regulator said the decision to extend the deadline for NTO 2.0 was taken “keeping in view the ongoing consultation process”.

TRAI had received several representations from distribution platform operators, which are MSOs and DTH service providers, and local cable operators, which highlighted the challenges in the implementation of the NTO 2.0.

According to the new implementation timelines, broadcasters will need to submit information on changes in MRP per month of their pay TV channels and the composition and MRP of bouquets of TV channels as per the new framework by August 31 to TRAI and also publish the information on their website.

“The broadcasters who have already submitted their RIOs in compliance with the New Regulatory Framework 2020 may also revise their RIOs by August 31,” TRAI said.

The distribution platform operators will need to report to TRAI the distributor retail price of pay channels and bouquets of pay channels as per the new framework by September 30. They will also need to submit information regarding the composition of bouquets of pay and free-to-air channels by this deadline. With effect from November 30, all distributors shall ensure that services to the subscribers are provided as per the bouquets or channels opted by them, TRAI said. Financial Express

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