New DTH regulations have reduced TV bills by 25 per cent, says TRAI chairman
When the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) introduced the new DTH regulations a few months ago, it was believed that subscribers would experience reduced TV bills and transparency in the entire DTH industry. However, within a few days, the new regulations were found to bump up the TV bills further, which resulted in people considering the new OTT platforms. However, TRAI believes that regulations are working exactly the way the industry expected.
In a recent Telecom Talk report, TRAI chairman RS Sharma stated that despite the negative notions, the new DTH regulations have actually resulted in an overall decrease of TV bills by 25 per cent. Sharma said that most subscribers are witnessing a maximum drop of 15 per cent and a minimum drop of 5 per cent. The Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) study highlights that more than 90 per cent of TV viewers switch between 50 channels or fewer. Preliminary data also suggest subscribers are saving around 10-15 per cent in the metro cities while the non-metro areas are witnessing savings up to 5-10 per cent.
The new regulations were brought into effect for passing on the benefits of digitising the broadcast and cable services sector in India. Sharma pointed out that the new regulations have enabled a more transparent system in DTH industry. Customers are now only paying for what they want to see while the capital distribution is now more even between the stakeholders in the DTH and cable TV industry.
To help with the migration, TRAI came up with the Best Fit Plan that was automatically activated towards the end of March for all DTH and cable subscribers. Those subscribers who hadn’t made the move to the new regulations were transferred to the new regulations with the Best Fit Plan. This plan offered a similar choice of channels and a familiar price that customers were experiencing previously with the older regulations.
While the new regulations have introduced more transparent procedures to pricing and everything else, DTH and cable TV subscribers can still rely on operator curated channel packs. Subscribers get the complete option to either go with the a-la-carte pack or the curated packs from operators.