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Cable operators gear up for legal wrangle over tariff
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New Delhi: Fearing stringent tariff regime for television content, broadcasters, cable operators and DTH service providers are likely to take the legal route to fight back. The move comes after the lengthy tariff-fixing exercise undertaken by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) ended without much headway last week.

Various stakeholders including broadcasters are against Trai’s proposal of capping monthly cable television charges at Rs 250 per month (Rs 100 for free-to-air channels and Rs 150 for pay channels). Several broadcasters said capping cable charges at Rs 250 means fixing the cable rates and then deciding the split (between free channels and pay channels). “This is not the best approach and the matter required in-depth consultations with all. The matter will go to the court if Trai goes ahead with it,” said a top executive of a leading media company.

Also, Trai’s proposal of 2013 deadline for turning the current analogue cable distribution platform into digital has not been agreed by several cable operators. “Cut-off date for going digital simply means bringing the controversial conditional access system (CAS) regime. Clearly the government is not for CAS so far and Trai does not have the power to enforce CAS then there is no meaning of 2013 as a cut-off date,” said a top cable company executive.

Full Story: Indian DTH Blog

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