Not Dec 29, Consumers Get Time Till Jan 31 To Choose Their TV Channels

TV viewers in India now get time till January 31 to select their channels, according to a new order by the TRAI. Earlier the date was December 29.

The distribution platform operators (DPOs) who typically are the TV service providers now get time till 31 January to collect consumers choice for channels and then can migrate their customers from February 1, TRAI said.

The new regulatory framework for broadcasters and cable operators mandate them to inform the customers to choose their preferred channels and pay exactly for the same channels. At present channel TV customers in India are offered many such channels the they do not watch and at times, pay for those.

The new guidelines say consumers can select every individual channel they want to watch and pay accordingly. The earlier date for choosing the channels was December 29, however, the sector regulator has given an additional time of one month to do the same.

“It was duly noted that to make the consumers aware about the new framework and the process of seeking fresh choice of TV channels from about 150 million subscribers would require some time and resources of the service providers,” TRAI said in a statement.

In a new order dated 28 December TRAI said broadcasters and cable TV operators need to inform their customers about the new regulatory framework and for this they should adhere to the dates prescribed by the regulator.

TRAI has said :

  • All existing packs/plans/bouquets to the subscribers will continue uninterrupted till 31st January 2019.
  • No service provider to disconnect any signal/feed to anyMSO/LCO/subscriber till 31st January 2019.
  • DPOs to devise their own mechanism to reach out to all the subscribers and seek options from subscribers.
  • DPOs to migrate all the subscribers to new framework w.e.f. 1st February 2019 as per options exercised by them.

Besides, in the new regulatory framework, TRAI has asked the broadcasters to specify the maximum retail price of each individual channel so that consumers can actively choose their TV channels and pay accordingly.

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