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TRAI would prefer minimal regulation in broadcasting sector, Vaghela

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) would prefer minimal regulation in the broadcasting sector with a focus on pricing forbearance, chairman PD Waghela said on Wednesday.

Despite recent reforms, pricing remains a challenge, as smaller entities like local cable operators and multi-system operators often feel disadvantaged, Waghela said at Ficci Frames, an annual media and entertainment industry event in Mumbai.

In recent months, the sector has seen disputes over pricing between broadcasters and cable operators, leading to channels from major companies such as Disney Star, Zee Entertainment Enterprises and Sony Pictures Networks being temporarily unavailable for smaller players.

To address these issues, TRAI is developing a second set of recommendations related to NTO 2.0, which will cover network capacity fees, MRP discounts, free-to-air channel inclusion, and fair competition for DD Free Dish, Waghela said.

While pointing out that TRAI cannot regulate OTT platforms, Waghela emphasized the need for a level playing field in the industry and encouraged market forces to take the lead.

“It would be best if the industry moved towards forbearance together. It would be best for market forces to take over completely,” Waghela said. Livemint

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