AIDCF wants to leave placement of channels at sole prerogative to MSO

In a document accessed by DreamDTH, All India Digital Cable Federation (AIDCF) has told TRAI that it’s recently released consultation paper on issues related to Interconnection Regulations 2017 was not required as the regulations framed in this behalf are adequate.

According to the federation, the flexibility of defining the target market has not been misused by the DPOs for determining carriage fee. AIDCF said that the declaration of target market comprising potential subscribers forms an important aspect of their marketing plans and any restriction on the same would stand in the way of effective retransmission of channels to subscribers and would also curb the fundamental right of the DPOs to carry business freely.

AIDCF don’t want any revision in carriage fee under the new regulatory framework but they further added that the cost of carrying a channel may be determined after taking into consideration the OPEX (operating expenditure) and CAPEX (capital expenditure) of the DPOs.

The federation has requested TRAI to leave placement of channels at sole prerogative to MSO as the broadcasters have been given the leverage to fix the price of a-la-carte channels as per their wish, therefore, any attempt to regulate placement when the carriage is already regulated would be detrimental to the financial viability of the MSO.

AIDCF submitted to the regulator that the aspects of placement are already adequately regulated in the current framework and provides for necessary restrictions and safeguards. Any attempt to regulate agreements relating to placement, marketing etc. will curb the right of distributors to carry on business freely and would count as an unnecessary incursion in their business affairs.

To reduce the possibility of DPOs misusing flexibility granted by the authority and ensure transparency AIDCF has recommended that distributors and other stakeholders have to submit before the authority all agreements such as placement and marketing under the new regulatory framework.

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