TRAI asks Tamil Nadu cable operators association to withdraw legal notice against it
The cable TV operators said that the broadcasters issued their reference interconnect offer (RIO) in which highly subscribed flagship channels will be inflated by 100% to 200%, according to the notice.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, on Tuesday, asked the Tamil Nadu Digital Cable TV Operators Association to withdraw the legal notice against it following the implementation of the new tariff framework and deferment of revised charges by Star India.
In a letter to the legal counsel for the Tamil Nadu-based cable TV operators group, dated January 4, 2021, the sector watchdog said, “In light of the Trai’s letter dated November 10, 2021, M/s Star India Private Limited (broadcaster) has intimated about deferment of all changes made in its revised Reference Interconnect Offer (RIO) filed on October 15, 2021, and added that in view of the foregoing, you are, therefore advised, “to withdraw the said legal notice” against Trai.
The state’s digital cable TV operators group is unlikely to take back the notice it served on October 18, 2021, according to the sources, reported Economic Times. In a legal notice, the Delhi-based law firm, on behalf of TV operators group said, “our clients are not doubting on your (TRAI) intentions but have been shocked and surprised to see the conduct and malafide of the pay channel broadcasters who have wrongly interpreted the New Tariff Order, 2020 and have substantially inflated the prices of the pay channels.”
The action from the group comes close on the heels of the revised channel pricing by top broadcasters – Star & Disney India, Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) Zee Entertainment Enterprises (ZEE) and Viacom18 which they said were in compliance with effect from December 1, citing compliance to the Trai’s amended tariff order. The cable TV operators said that the broadcasters issued their reference interconnect offer (RIO) in which highly subscribed flagship channels will be inflated by 100% to 200%, according to the notice.
The regulator further said that as far as implementation of new regulatory framework 2020 is concerned, Trai on November 10, 2021 issued a letter to broadcasters and distribution platform operators (DPO) on the implementation plan wherein all broadcasters were asked to report to the authority, any change in name, nature, language, the maximum retail price per month, the composition of bouquets as per new norms by December 31, 2021. The regulator has extended the deadline for the implementation of the new tariff order to April 1, 2022.
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