Confused over DTH rates? Time to call service provider

Under new guidelines, you can pay only for the channels you watch. February 1 is new deadline

With Rs 130 for the first set of 100 channels, customers can choose from a list.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India had announced that the DTH and cable subscription rates will be changing starting the new year. But due to the short notice, TRAI extended the date to February 1.

The new regulation is supposed to make television streaming a cheaper option for customers. With the stipulating charge of Rs 130 for the first set of 100 channels, customers will not have to spend more than required.

Before January 31, it’s mandatory for cable TV operators and DTH service providers to publish the tariffs for each channel in a combination of a la carte or bouquets.

It’s up to the subscribers to choose either from the bouquet or a la carte channel options. Service providers like Airtel, Hathway and Dish TV have already initiated the move and have asked the customers to choose their 100 channels.

However, Tata Sky operators are yet to take a stand on this. In fact, Tata Sky has filed a case in the Delhi High Court against the regulator. TRAI has asked the DTH operator to file a status report over the implementation of new rules. Based on the complaints TRAI received by the customers, PTI reported that TATA sky is misleading the customers by informing them that TRAI has extended the dates.

How to choose channels
The new framework is to give subscribers the choice to choose the channels that they want to watch. In the 100 channels that will be provided to you: 26 of them are mandatory Prasar Bharati channels. DTH and cable operators can decide on the rest of the free-to-air channels. Each network can decide how much they want to charge a channel but the maximum amount is Rs 19 a month, if in a bouquet. If you want to choose more channels, you will be charged more. However, TRAI believes that no home watches more than 50 channels at home.

Ask your operator
While most of the DTH operators have announced their package prices, some of them are yet to do so. We are hoping that there will be more movement in the coming days. It’s best if you contact your cable operator and refer to broadcasters to select the channels you want to watch. 

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