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Cable operators try to save revenue after digitization

As the deadline for the switch-off of analogue cable TV dawns nearer, Hathway cable has introduced a new packaging system to avoid any steep decline in its revenue.

According to TRAI rules, consumers can simply unsubscribe from any channel they don’t want to watch, after digitization. This will not only lower the revenue of cable networks due to a fall in subscriber revenue, but also hit them due to a possible fall in carriage fees.

As of now, channels pay large sums of money to cable networks to ensure that their channels are carried in their ‘basic package’ to all the networks’ subscribers.

After digitization, consumers are likely to ‘turn off’ channels they don’t wish to see, to cut their monthly bills. However, this will also affect the position of cable networks, as they won’t have the ability to ensure that a particular channel will be delivered to all its subscribers.

If all consumers switch to the ‘a la carte’ system and away from the bouquet system, carriage fees will become meaningless.

According to TRAI rules, consumers can pick any channel that they want to see and cable operators will have to oblige. The only condition is that cable operators can demand that the minimum monthly bill for the customer has to be Rs 150. In other words, even if all the channels that you have subscribed to (including pay channels) cost only Rs 140, you will still have to pay Rs 150 per month.

To keep consumers interested in the ‘bouquet system’, Hathway has unveiled four new bouquet packs. The first pack is the mandatory TRAI pack of 100 free to air channels for Rs 100 per month (choice of channels up to the consumer).

The second bouquet is Basic Pay Tier Package, 176 channels for Rs. 160 + Taxes.

The second bouquet is 233 TV channels for only Rs. 220 + Taxes, the third bouquet is 258 channels for Rs. 275 per month + Taxes

In addition, it will also have an India Cricket package with an additional cost of Rs. 365 per year + Taxes.

Trai had revealed new rules for post-digitization Cable TV earlier this year.

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