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Trai recommendations should be rejected: Star India - Mr.Bhat - 07-26-2010

Leading broadcaster Star India today hit out at regulator Trai for 'shocking' recommendations for DTH tariff, saying that this would wreak havoc in the industry, and it would seek rejection of the same legally.

"The way they (recommendations) are at the moment, it should be outrightly rejected...We will ask the apex body IBF (Indian Broadcasting Foundation) for challenging it in court," Star India head Uday Shankar told PTI.

He charged that the recommendations not only deprived the consumer of choosing a channel but also failed to address the revenue leakage through underdeclaration by cable operators and theft.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India had last week fixed the wholesale tariff to be paid to broadcasters for TV channels by DTH and IPTV service providers and cable operators in conditional access system areas at 35 per cent of the corresponding rates for normal cable operators.

"Current TRAI recommendations will weaken the broadcast sector in the short term and much more in the long run," Shankar said.

Besides, TRAI had recently submitted before the Supreme Court that the maximum monthly bill for cable TV should be at Rs 250 per month, which includes the basic package and more than 20 pay channels and the minimum at Rs 100 for up to 30 free-to-air channels.