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SC asks Trai to work out cable tariffs afresh
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The Supreme Court today allowed TRAI to work out a fresh tariff regime for cable services in general cable TV (non-CAS) areas, based on a classification of cities and the number of pay channels provided.

A Bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, while directing Trai to carry out the exercise de novo (afresh, without being influenced by the TDSAT ruling), clarified that the comprehensive tariff order would include a cap on carriage and placement charges.

However, it rejected the objection raised by senior advocate C S Vaidyananthan, appearing for the multi-system operators (MSO), that the issue of capping the carriage charges was not the subject matter of the appeal and it should also include advertisement charges.

The Court also continued its earlier order that said tariffs which were there when the sectoral tribunal rejected Trai's order that put a ceiling on cable service charges would continue.

This means that multi-system operators and local cable operators will charge tariffs, as per Trai's directions, between Rs 132 and 260 for cable services in non-CAS areas and broadcasters cannot enhance tariffs by not more than 7 per cent for cable services and they will have to offer channels to consumers in a manner whereby they can choose.

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