Viacom18 and TV18 have launched a 1 rupee a day ‘value pack’, ahead of the introduction on 29 December 2018 of a regime to create greater transparency in the pricing of all TV channels in India.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s new tariff order, enabling consumers to order channels ‘a-la-carte’, also requires broadcasters to list new channel carriage fee prices on their website before its implementation.
“TRAI’s new tariff order is a pioneering move that will benefit all players across the broadcast value chain. Consumers will now have the choice to select the channels of their choice, broadcasters can see greater transparency in the value chain with under-reporting getting curtailed and distributors stand to benefit from the commissions and incentives they will earn,” said Sudhanshu Vats (pictured), Group CEO & managing director, Viacom18.
The nationwide digitisation of India’s vast cable network has enabled the reference interconnect offer (RIO) to be introduced for content distribution. Under RIO, the pay-TV operator pays the broadcast network only for those subscribers who have chosen the broadcaster’s channels. Broadcasters of the most popular channels, such as Viacom 18, TV18, Star India, Sony and Zee are hoping to see a rise in revenue as a result.
“After the DAS implementation, this mandate will go a long way in bringing equity into the industry,” added Vats.
Viacom18 and TV18’s distribution arm IndiaCast has bundled the networks’ offerings in Budget, Value and Family packs. With a total of 57 channels (42 SD and 15 HD), the Viacom18 and TV18 networks’ channels will now be available on a-la-carte basis. The networks have also introduced 10 channel bundles, in SD and HD versions, mapped to its markets (Hindi, North East, Kerala, Karnataka, Gujarat, Bengal, Maharashtra, Orissa, Telegu & Tamil) to allow the consumer to choose from.
The ‘Colors wala pack’, priced at INR25 a month and targeted towards the Hindi speaking market, includes popular entertainment and news channels Colors, Rishtey, Rishtey Cineplex, MTV, MTV Beats, Vh1, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., Sonic, FYI TV18, History Channel, News18 India, CNBC Awaaz, News18 Assam/North East, News18 Bihar Jharkhand, News18 MP Chhattisgarh, News18 Punjab/Haryana, News18 Rajasthan, News18 UP/ Uttarakhand and News18 Urdu.
Rahul Joshi, MD, Network18 said: “The new tariff order is a transparent and consumer-focussed regulation that gives freedom and choice to the end user. At a network level we remain committed to create quality entertainment and news content and firmly believe that in the new pricing regime, we will be the go-to network that best caters to content needs across demographics and geographies”.
Rival broadcast networks Zee Entertainment and Star India have already published the prices of their channels.