TV channel prices likely to settle down to the advantage of the consumers, Centre tells Rajya Sabha

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) expects the TV channel prices to settle down to the advantage of the consumers, the government told the Rajya Sabha on Monday. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar said that the focus of the new regulatory framework is to give more power to consumers which in turn enables market-driven discovery of prices of TV channels.

TV channel prices likely to settle down to the advantage of the consumers, Centre tells Rajya Sabha

Javadekar was responding to questions put forth by Kerala Congress (M) MP Jose K. Mani, who had asked a few questions on the ill effects of the new tariff order.

“It is not correct to say that consumers are not happy with the new regulatory framework,” Javadekar said in response to the question raised over TV viewers being adversely impacted by the new tariff order.

Javedkar added that the main objectives of the new regulatory framework are to ensure:

  1. Transparency, non-discrimination, non-exclusivity for all stakeholders in the value chain
  2. Adequate and real choice to subscribers/customers
  3. Alignment of commercial interests of broadcasters and distributors of television channels to enable the distributors of television channels to recover their network and distribution cost and the broadcasters to monetize their channel prices, and
  4. Reduction in disputes among stakeholders

Javadekar added that “the new framework had successfully established harmonized business processes in the sector, level-playing-field among stakeholders, transparency in TV channel pricing, reduced disputes among stakeholders, better tax compliance and reduced entry barrier”.

He further added that after having analyzed the complaints received from the consumer regarding the increase in price the regulator had floated a new paper discussing the issues and is working address the issues highlighted in the consultation paper and prescribe remedial measures to address the consumer issues.

In response to another question by Mani, Javadekar said “TRAI has conducted a survey through an independent agency for gauging consumers’ view with respect to the new regulatory framework for broadcasting and cable TV services. The survey confirms that the new regulatory framework has been good for different stakeholders including consumers.”

The regulator had recently only held the OHD on Interconnection Regulations 2017 which is an important part of the New Tariff Order and is likely to release the remedial measures in the next few months.

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