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TV broadcast carriage fees set for a burial
New Delhi: In a move which promises to have a major impact on the cable and broadcast industry, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) is looking to ban carriage fees. While broadcasters—particularly the 240-plus news channels—have supported such a ban for long, the cable industry has always contested Trai’s intervention. Trai regulates both telecom and broadcasting sectors in India.

If implemented, the move will cut revenues of major cable distributors and DTH operators. However, it will help the TV channels which are currently forced to pay carriage fees to get visibility in the crowded analog cable distribution platforms. Broadcasters say carriage fees account for 60-70% of their annual marketing budgets in the first year of the channel’s existence.

According to industry estimates, broadcasters pay cable companies around Rs 1,200-1,400 crore annually in lieu of a prominent space on their distribution platforms.

Over 90% of carriage fees go to multi-system operators (MSOs) while the rest is charged between the half-dozen DTH operators.

Trai has conveyed its intention to ban carriage fees, sources said. “All possibilities are being evaluated to help the cable industry grow as part of the tariff exercise,” a Trai official told FE.

Full Story: Indian DTH Blog

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Carriage Fee seems to be a signification revenue source to the cable companies.
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