he Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) announced new regulations for the television and broadcasting sector, as per which consumers were at their choice to select only those channels which they wished to pay for.
Unfortunately, after TRAI’s notified framework came into effect since December 29, 2018, there have been innumerable complaints registered from customers that there has come difficulties in different domains to select from this available choice of channels.
Along with this, there has been an unprecedented surge in the cable bills post this new framework, which has left to a 25% fall in subscribers in the April-June quarter.
Sharp fall in DTH Sales
In March 2017, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India notified the ‘New Regulatory Framework’ for Broadcasting and Cable services, which came into effect on December 29, 2018. As per this notification, the customers had the freedom to select the television channels of their choice and let the broadcasting company know the same.
This, however has just increased ambiguity and surprisingly, the prices. According to a report by TRAI, DTH services had an average active subscriber base of 72.44 million subscriber base reported in January-March quarter. This number fell down 25% to 54.26 million in the quarter ended June 30.
Reports from CRISIL and CARE Ratings showed that post the implementation of the tariff order, instead of seeing a cut down on cable bills, most consumers reported, on an average, about 25% increase in their bills.
This turned some of the smaller channels like Bihar-based Dangal TV into the most popularly watched channels overnight, far surpassing the likes of Zee TV, Star TV or even Colors.
Tough Competition from OTT Players
We won’t be lying if we stated that the infiltration of OTT players into the market has been proliferating at a magnanimous rate. About 30% OTT users in the country have registered with three or more such platforms. Among the top OTT players, the Times Internet-owned MX Player has taken the lead, securing 21% customer loyalty, followed by Amazon, Netflix and Hotstar with 15%, 14% and 14% respectively.
In fact, Indians have been already so much hooked onto the idea of such platforms that majority of them do not mind getting interrupted by on-screen advertisements while surfing through video content on such OTT platforms, in a bargain for money subscriptions.
Not just that, even OTT services such as Zee Entertainment’s Zee5, Star India’s Hotstar and Sony’s SonyLIVE has clearly impacted the subscriber numbers as these platforms allowed consumers to watch TV shows for free. Experts feel the drop in DTH subscribers doesn’t come as a shock since there is a clear shift happening towards on-demand content.
Obviously, people find these platforms more attractive, especially with their enticing and on demand content. High-speed and low-cost mobile Internet has further fueled this by shifting consumption to mobile devices.
These have significantly contributed in the increased monthly DTH bills, as consumers are just not renewing their monthly DTH packages.