New DTH regulations slashed TV bills by 25 per cent: TRAI Chairman
A few months ago when the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) introduced the new DTH regulations, it was believed that subscribers would experience a reduction in TV bills and transparency across the DTH industry. However, in a few days, it was discovered that the new regulations further increased television bills, which resulted in people considering the new OTT platforms. However, TRAI believes that the regulations are functioning exactly the way the industry expected.
In a recent Telecom Talk report, TRAI president RS Sharma said that despite the negative notions, the new DTH regulations have resulted in a general decrease in TV bills by 25 per cent. Sharma said that the majority of subscribers are experiencing a maximum drop of 15 per cent and a minimum fall of 5 per cent. The Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) study notes that more than 90 per cent of viewers switches between 50 channels or less. Preliminary data also suggest that subscribers are saving around 10-15 per cent in metropolitan cities, while non-metro areas are experiencing savings of up to 5-10 per cent.
The new regulations came into effect to transmit the benefits of the digitization of the transmission and cable services sector in India. Sharma noted that the new regulations have allowed for a more transparent system in the DTH industry. Customers now only pay for what they watch, while the distribution of capital is now more uniform among the stakeholders in the cable TV and DTH industry.
To help with the migration, TRAI created the Best Fit Plan that was automatically activated by the end of March for all DTH and cable subscribers. Those subscribers who had not made the change to the new regulations were transferred to the new regulations with the Best Fit Plan. This plan offered a similar selection of channels and a family price that customers were previously experiencing with the earlier regulations.
While the new regulations have introduced more transparent procedures for pricing and everything else, DTH subscribers and cable TV can still rely on the channel packages selected by the operator. Subscribers get the full option of going with the a-la-carte package or the cured packages of the operators