In a recent affidavit before the Supreme Court, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has said it proposes to revise the tariff regime for cable services.
This relates only to areas where the conditional access system (CAS) has not yet been introduced.
Currently there is no limit on the number of free-to-air channels a cable operator can provide, while the monthly charge is fixed at Rs 83. For a bouquet that includes pay channels, consumers pay Rs 260 per month.
TRAI further specified the new rates pertained to consumers and cable operators and had nothing to do with the direct -to-home service providers.
The TRAI has also set a deadline of September 1 for broadcasters to specify the rates per channel they want to charge, and the bouquets they will offer within the specified ceiling.
As per industry estimates, there are 300 free to air channels and 125 pay channels in the country.
TRAI’s affidavit comes in response to an SC direction in January this year giving it six months to work out a fresh tariff regime for cable services in non-CAS areas.