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TRAI updates rates of pay channels in non-CAS news
21 April 2008

Mumbai: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has updated bouquet rates and a-la-carte rates reported by broadcasters regarding their pay channels, for cable TV operations in non-CAS area.

Previously, TRAI had amended the Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Services (Second) Tariff Order, 2004 (principal Tariff Order) in October, 2007, making the amending order effective from December 2007.

Each broadcaster has to offer all its channels on a-la-carte basis, on a non-discriminatory basis, to multi-system operators (MSOs) / cable operators for such channels in non-CAS areas. The prevalent bouquets as on December 2007 need to be to be offered by the broadcasters, and additional bouquets can also be offered.

TRAI has clarified in a statement that these published rates are only meant to provide a basis for appropriate interconnection agreements on non-discriminatory basis between broadcasters on one hand and MSOs and cable operators on the other. TRAI also says that the rates published on its website should not be taken as approved or as rates applicable to the consumer end.

Some of the bouquets are priced as under:

  1. Bouquet 1 pack – Zee Turner Ltd with channels like Zee TV, Zee Cinema, Cartoon Network, Zee Café and Zee Studio, among others, priced at Rs61.20
  2. Channel Plus' Bouquet VIII of 16 channels with channels like Sun, Gemini, Udaya, Udaya Music, and Sun News among others, priced at Rs91.50
  3. Sportscaster and Nimbus have priced Neo Sports Plus at Rs34, while ESPN and Star Sports come for Rs33.13
  4. Channel [v] has been priced at the lowest with its single channel for just Re1.

Broadcasters of pay channels had earlier reported a-la-carte and bouquet rates of their channels to the TRAI. To ensure that MSOs and cable operators receive content in a non-discriminatory manner, scanned copies of the reports, excluding confidential parts, which contained  rates reported earlier by the broadcasters were placed on the TRAI website for information to all stakeholders in January 2008.

Thereafter, TRAI held discussions with broadcasters, who have now voluntarily decided to update the bouquet and a-la-carte rates of their channels for cable TV operation in non-CAS areas, and these too are being placed on TRAI's website to allow service providers to forge interconnection agreements on non-discriminatory basis between themselves, which would also be beneficial for the consumers and protect their interests.

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TRAI updates rates of pay channels in non-CAS