TV viewers needn't pay more in new regime: TRAI

The implementation of the new framework for broadcasting and cable services will lower the prices for the viewers, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) Chairman R S Sharma said in New Delhi. Representative image.

Dismissing the apprehension about a possible hike in cable TV services and DTH subscription rates, the Trai on Wednesday assured viewers that they need not pay more for television channels under a new regulation.

The implementation of the new framework for broadcasting and cable services will lower the prices for the viewers, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) Chairman R S Sharma said in New Delhi.

In the new regime, consumers have to pay only for the channels they want to watch. The new system will ensure good service quality and interconnection to consumers. There would be an overall reduction in prices and there will be transparency in tariffs, he said.

Slamming the "misinformation campaign" being carried out by some to fuel "hyperbolic fear" among consumers, he said that the regulator is working to ensure a "smooth transition" to the new framework without causing any disruption.

The Trai has already initiated a consumer outreach programme to create awareness on the nuances of its new tariff order and framework for the broadcasting sector.

The Supreme Court had recently dismissed a plea challenging the Trai's March, 2017 regulations and tariff order relating to fixation of charges for free and payed channels.

The new framework allows consumers to select and pay only for the channels they wish to view and it also requires TV broadcasters to disclose the maximum retail price (MRP) of every channel and of bouquets.

Reacting to the news reports that the new regulations will force consumers to shell out extra amount for cable television or DTH subscriptions, the Trai chairman said that these were false news propagated by a section of people.

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TV viewers needn't pay more in new regime: TRAI

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