TRAI recommends limiting maximum number of platform service channels for DTH operators

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has today finalised a list of recommendations for platform service (PS) channels available on various DTH operators, first accessed by DreamDTH.

The regulator has instructed all DTH operators that their PS channels must contain exclusive programs and the same shall not be permitted to be shared directly or indirectly with any other Distribution Platform Operator (DPO). If TRAI found the same program on PS channel of other operators then it may immediately stop the transmission of such programme while MIB can also cancel the registration of such PS channel.

TRAI in its recommendation capped the total number of PS to 3% of the total channel carrying capacity of the DTH operator platform and subject to a maximum of only 15 platform services channels.

Authority has barred Time-shift feed of registered TV channels such as +1 services to be allowed as a platform service and directed that PS channels must not include any registered TV channel or Doordarshan channel or foreign TV channel.

The regulator has also told to create a separate genre named ‘Platform Service’ and put all PS channels under this category. On the Electronic Programming Guide (EPG) price of PS channels should also be displayed just like regular satellite channels.

The one-time non-refundable registration fee of Rs 10,000 per PS channel is fixed for every operator. To distinguish PS channels from regular ones, TRAI has said to put a caption of ‘Platform Service’ whose size will be decided by the government.

Earlier DreamDTH has reported that DTH operators don’t want exclusivity as defining feature for PS channel and there were also against the idea of putting PS channels under separate category but the recommendations released by TRAI today are against their suggestions.

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