Cable TV Plans Can Increase By 60% After December 29; Reason Is TRAI’s New Regulations
TRAI wants a fair and transparent market for Cable TV, but it will prove to be costly.
TRAI’s new regulations pertaining to cable tv and DTH may increase your monthly tariffs and plans, by as much as 50% in some cases.
Why is this happening?
TRAI’s New Regulations For DTH, Cable TV
At exactly 00.00 hours on December 28th, your existing cable TV and DTH plans and rates will change, and the change won’t be good for you. Only 100 Free-to-air channels will be available via cable TV, as all pay channels will switched off.
A new pricing regime will have to be followed, and this shall be expensive.
As per our initial observations, and analysis, cable TV rates can increase by 60% in some cases.
And the reason is TRAI’s new rules for cable TVs.
Why Your Cable TV Plans May Increase
As of now, Multiple System Operators or MSOs offer you a bundled package of channels. The MSOs such as Tata Sky or DishTV, Airtel, Hathway etc choose random channels into a package, and offer it to consumers.
But after December 29th, the consumers will have to choose individual channels, which they want to see.
And this means, that bundled packages will no longer work, and you will need to pay individually for each channel.
How Much Extra Do I Need To Pay?
Taking an example of Kolkata city, and taking an average package of bundled channels, here is what consumers pay right now:
- Basic package (around 40 channels of Hindi, Bengali, English entertainments and news): Rs 250
- Medium package (around 80-85 channels of movies, plus entertainment and news): Rs 325
- Premium package (around 130-140 channels with HD, English movies, Hindi and Bengali): Rs 400
Now, once TRAI’s new directives come into force effective December 29th, this is what you need to pay for the accessing the same number of channels in the packages:
- Basic Package: Rs 400 (an increase of 60%)
- Medium Package: Rs 500 (an increase of 54%
- Premium Package: Rs 600 (an increase of 50%)
How Much Will Be The Price Of Each Channel?
Now, every major network like Star, Zee, Sony etc will offer a bucket of channels, and you will need to spend extra for adding each channel.
As per TOI Report, here are the approximate new charges:
Rs 100 to get a pack of 10 Sports Channels
Rs 25 to get a pack of 3 English entertainment channels
Rs 50 get a pack of 4 Hindi entertainment channels
Rs 60 to get a pack of 4 Regional entertainment channels
Rs 15 to get a pack of 4 English movie channels
Rs 10 to get a pack of 3 Regional movie channels
Rs 35 to get a pack of 4 Hindi movies channels
Rs 30 to get a pack of 4 English news channels
Rs 12 to get a pack of 3 Regional news channels
Rs 30 get a pack of 3 Kid’s channels
As per another report, Zee Network will soon announce a bucket of ‘All in One’ HD channels priced at Rs 68, Sony at Rs 72, Network18 at Rs 42, Discovery at Rs 7.2, Times Network at Rs 17.6 and so on.
Still, subscribing to individual buckets of channels will prove to be atleast 40-60% more expensive, compared to current rates.
How and When Will The Change Take Place?
Officially speaking, this change will take place effective December 29th. But most of the cable TV viewers are not even aware of this change, and we can expect much chaos and confusion in the initial days.
Siti-Cable’s Suresh Sethia said in Kolkata: “We fear utter chaos from December 29, as all MSOs will log pay channels out of homes, unless someone petitions the SC to stall the roll out of the new system (called ‘reference interconnect offer’) that will allow subscribers to pay for only those channels they want to view. The channels will return only when subscribers make this choice and cable operators are able to feed that into the system.”
Siti-Cable is Kolkata’s biggest cable TV network with 52 lakh users.
TRAI’s intention was good: they wanted to end the monopoly of MSOs (cable operators, DTH providers), and give the control to choose channels to the end-user. And they did this by giving the control of price to the channels, and the control to choose them to the end-users.
But it seems that economics and price-dynamics are simply not working here.
We will keep you updated, as more details come in