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TRAI’s new rules for DTH, cable TV: Final hearing today in case with Tata Sky, others

TRAI’s new rules for DTH, Cable TV Operators: TRAI's new regulatory tariff comes into effect on February 1, 2019. However, a case with Tata Sky, Bharti Airtel and others is still on in the Delhi High Court


TRAI’s new regulatory tariff for DTH, cable operators comes into effect on February 1, 2019 with the deadline for subscribers to choose their new channels as January 31, 2019.
After February 1, 2019, subscribers will be pay only for the channels they have chosen to watch on their dish TV or cable connection, rather than being bound by packs decided by the DTH companies or cable operators. Here’s everything that has happened so far.
TRAI vs Tata Sky case, Bharti Airtel, Sun Direct TV  is still going on
TRAI’s new regulatory tariffs are still facing some legal hurdles with players Tata Sky, Sun Direct TV, Bharti Telemedia limited, which owns Airtel TV have all filed a petition in the Delhi High Court against the new regulatory regime.
The case’s final hearing will take place on January 23, 2019, which is today. The final judgement in this case will be given today by the Delhi High Court.
If the court rules in favour of the regulator, then the new regime will have to come into effect, though the companies could also move the Supreme Court. If the Delhi High Court rules in favour of these companies, then the tariff rollout could be stalled.
TRAI has already asked Tata Sky for a status report
While players like Dish TV, Hathway etc and even Airtel are already asking customers to choose their 100 channels, Tata Sky which is the biggest DTH operator in India has no details on the rules. This has left consumers confused because as pointed the deadline is January 31, 2019, which is fast approaching.
While Tata Sky has filed a case in the Delhi High Court against the regulator, TRAI has also rapped the company over the issue. TRAI has asked Tata Sky to file a status report over implementation of the new rules, which will let viewers select and pay only for the channels they want to see. TRAI says it has seen a number of complaints from Tata Sky consumers.
According to a PTI report, the regulator also alleged that the DTH operator is misleading its consumers by informing subscribers that “TRAI has extended the date of implementation of new regulatory framework”.
Subscriber have “also pointed out that the customer care centre of Tata Sky as well as the (ticker’ running on Tata Sky platform channels are misleading the subscribers by informing that the TRAI has extended the date of implementation of new regulatory framework”, TRAI noted in its letter.


TRAI’s new cable TV, DTH rules: What happens on January 31?
As pointed out, the Delhi High Court’s decision will be crucial. If court stays the new tariffs, then it means the companies will have to implement TRAI’s new regulatory model, otherwise risk a penalty from regulatory.
For users, after January 31, they will only pay for channels which they have chosen. The base pack can have 100 channels with a network capacity fee of Rs 130, plus the cost of paid channels and 18 per cent GST.
In this 100 channel list, if you add paid channels or channel bouquets (where broadcasters have clubbed several channels together for a monthly price pack), then the cost is higher than Rs 130 (exclusive of taxes). 
One HD channel is counted as 2 SD channels. According to TRAI, subscribers can choose from a-la-carte (which is one single) channel or bouquet. The maximum price of each channel has been capped at Rs 19.



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