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TRAI releases draft Tariff Order for Cable TV services

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released a draft Tariff Order namely the Telecommunication (Broadcast and Cable) Services (Seventh) (Non-addressable Systems), Tariff Order 2014(draft) seeking views/comments of the stakeholders.

2. The draft Tariff Order is proposed for the cable TV services offered through non addressable (analog) cable TV systems. The following are the salient features prescribed in the draft tariff order:

Existing mechanism to continue to regulate wholesale Tariff;
Rates of new pay channels and channels converted from free to air to pay to be specified by broadcasters following the existing similarity principle ;
Broadcasters to mandatorily offer all their channels on a-la-carte basis; in addition, broadcasters are free to offer bouquets;
Revenue share between the operators to be decided on a mutual negotiation;
Operators, implementing digital addressable cable TV systems (DAS), before the notified cut-off dates to be governed by DAS Regulatory regime.
For regulating the retail tariff, three slabs alongwith rate ceilings have been prescribed; on pan India basis, Sales are based on the number of pay and FTA channels offered by an operator.
Operators to provide consumers with bills and receipts for payments for the subscribed cable TV services.

3. The draft tariff order has been released in pursuance of Hon'ble Supreme Court order dated 17th Sept, 2014.

4. The stakeholders have been requested to submit their written comments and views on the draft tariff order by 15th Dec, 2014. This opportunity is in addition to the opportunity already given by Hon’ble Supreme Court through its order dated 17th September, 2014, wherein it allowed the stakeholders to make representations to the TRAI, positivity on or before 30th Sept, 2014. In view of the timelines set by the Hon’ble Supreme Court, no extension in the date for submission of views/comments shall be entertained. The comments need to be sent, preferably in electronic form to the Advisor (B&CS).

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