All cable, DTH firms to unveil new channel packs today

DTH operators have to update plans today

All cable and DTH players, including Dish TV, D2h, Tata Sky, Hathway, Den Networks, Airtel Digital and Sun Direct, have been directed to reveal their new TV channel packs and prices by end of day today.

In an update posted on TRAI’s website on Friday, the regulator reminded cable and DTH companies that they must adhere ‘strictly’ by the time table give on July 3.

On July 3, the TRAI had given them 180 days to put up new channel packs and plans.

“The Authority once again emphasize that all the provisions of the Interconnection Regulations 2017, the QoS Regulations 2017 and the Tariff Order 2017 are in force and the regulatory provisions contained therein may be strictly complied with while implementing the prescribed schedule of activities,” it said on Friday.

“Accordingly, distribution platform operators (cable & DTH companies) shall declare the Distributor Retail Price (DRP) and Network Capacity Fee (NCF) as per the time lines given in TRAI press release dated 3rd July 2018 i.e. by 29th December 2018.”

Consumers have 34 days to select their new package, and must complete their switch-over by January 31.

The latest clarification comes in the wake of reluctance shown by some big DTH players to implement the new tariff scheme.

DTH operators like Tata Sky have contested the regulations, which are expected to improve transparency in the television industry.

Tata Sky has gone to the High Court as well as the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal with its plea to quash the regulations.

The TRAI has, meanwhile, approached the Supreme Court against modifications to its plan by the Madras High Court in a case filed by Star India.

If the Supreme Court restores TRAI’s original tariff order of last year, all other cases pending in all other fora — including the High Courts and the TDSAT — will become moot as these bodies cannot go against a Supreme Court order.

CONSUMER CONFUSION

Under TRAI’s migration scheme announced in July this year, channel owners were supposed to publish their channel packs and prices by October.

Using this information, cable and DTH companies were supposed to publish their channel packs soon after and consumers were supposed to migrate to the new packs. The whole process was supposed to be over by today, December 29.

However, the time table has been thrown into disarray as cable and DTH firms have waited for the last day to reveal their plans. Because of this, subscribers have not been able to make the switch before the deadline.

With only hours to go before the deadline, practically none of the big DTH companies have listed the new plans on their websites.

Those cable and DTH operators who do not reveal their new plans by end of day today could face fines and penalties from the TRAI.

Some of the cable players, like Den and Asianet Cable, are the only ones who have not waited for the last day to update their plans.

Meanwhile, some users of Airtel Digital have reported seeing the new packs and plans on the company’s self-care app. However, Airtel Digital’s website continues to show the old plans. The website is expected to be updated with the new plans today.

Websites of other operators, including Dish TV, D2h, Hathway, Sun Direct and Tata Sky continue to show the old prices.

The following table lists the major cable and DTH firms and whether they have made information about their new packs available. It also shows whether consumers can start activating the new packs or not using the company’s app or website, as well as the network charges levied by them.

Network charges are payable on top of the pay channel prices. In case a user buys only FTA channels, only network charges need to be paid.

New Pack Info?Network Charge
Tata SkyNo
Airtel DigitalA-LA PACKS130/20.34
Dish TVA-LA, PACK & FTA
AsianetA-LA & PACKS
D2hFTA PACKS
Sun DirectA-LA & PACKS130/25
Den Networks A-LA & PACKS
Siti CableFTA1 FTA2 A-LA PAY

130/25
HathwayPACKS130/25
GTPL HathwayA-LA

Table will be updated as and when the operators reveal their new tariff.

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