As TRAI’s new rules for pricing of TV channels come into effect from 1 February 2019, and as most DTH and cable operators are yet to release new plans, TV viewers might be better off recharging their subscriptions only for short term, instead of opting for full-year or half-year packs. Customers may stand to gain from the new pricing system as it is expected to drastically cut the TV bills.
While TRAI has shifted the earlier migration date for DTH and cable operators from 29 December 2018 to 31 January 2019, and as most of the service providers are yet to migrate to the new plan, it might be better to wait for the newer plans as there is no framework or update yet as to what happens to the earlier subscriptions after 31 January 2019.
Meanwhile, TRAI is monitoring the progress of consumer corner, choices to the consumers, provision of consumers care channel, the percentage of consumers whose choice has been obtained etc. on day to day basis, TRAI said in a release dated 8 January 2019. Also, it has been noted that most of the service providers have launched a consumer care channel on Channel Number 999, the release said.
How the new plan works
According to the new plan, the customers have to pay for a base pack which is priced at Rs 130 plus 18% GST added. This totals to Rs 153. The base pack comprises 100 FTA channels.
Above this, customers can select the channels on a-la-carte basis or they can opt for bouquet plans offered by the service providers which should cost a minimum of 85% cost of the individual channels combined.
For every 25 channels selected over 100 FTA channels, customers are to pay a network capacity fee of Rs 20. However, if the number of channels selected over the 100 FTA channels are less than 15, customers will pay Re 1 each for those channels. For example, if one subscribes to 114 channels, one will need to pay Rs 153+14. While, if one subscribes to anywhere between 116 and 125 channels, one will need to shell out Rs 153+20.
Also, the customers must note that subscribing to one HD channel will cost a network capacity fees of two channels.