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Cap on broadcast tariffs effective from Oct 1, not Sept 1: TRAI
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#1
Broadcast regulator TRAI's tariff notification capping the rates charged by TV channel broadcasters from DTH and IPTV service providers at 35 per cent of the fee paid by normal cable operators will now be applicable from October 1.

Earlier, as per the notification issued by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on July 21, the rate cap was to be made effective from September 1, 2010.

However, during the proceedings of the Telecom Disputes and Settlement Appellate Tribunal today, where broadcaster have challenged TRAI's tariff notification, the counsel appearing for the sectoral regulator informed the tribunal that the rate cap would be applicable from October 1 only.

Senior advocate Meet Malhotra, appearing for TRAI, told the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) that the new tariffs would be effectively operational from October 1, 2010, only.

"The new tariff, between operators would become effective not before first week of October," said Malhotra in response to broadcasters' submission that the matter should be given an early hearing, as TRAI's new tariffs were to be implemented from September 1.

TRAI had on July 21 notified that a new wholesale tariff structure would be effective from September 1, as per which broadcasters could charge for channels at only 35 per cent of the rate they charged from normal cable operators while supplying TV channels to service providers across various platforms such as DTH, IPTV and HITS.

Earlier, the broadcasters were charging DTH, IPTV and HITS service providers for channels at 50 per cent of the rate applicable for cable TV operators.

The new tariff notification has been challenged by leading broadcasters, including ESPN Software India, MSM Discovery, Zee Turner and Star Den Media Services, before the tribunal.

The tribunal has directed TRAI to file its reply by September 6.

The broadcasters submitted that while fixing the tariff, TRAI has acted in arbitrary and unreasonable manner and did not consider the suggestions of the stakeholders.

The tribunal has fixed September 14 as the date for the next hearing.
et
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#2
With dth still not making profits are stakeholders receiving any gains.
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