TV operators publish pricing under India’s new tariff regime | Broadcast | News | Rapid TV News
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India’s direct-to-home (DTH) and multi system operators (MSOs) have begun to issue pricing for the TV channels they carry, in line with new regulations set to come into force at the end of this month.

DishTV India rooftop satellite dishes 3 JanEssel Group owned DTH operator Dish TV has published pricing for each of the channels it carries as add-ons to a base pack, while rival Airtel Digital TV has also announced channel combination packs for customers to choose.

In addition to a-la-carte channels, Airtel Digital TV is offering categories such as Hindi entertainment, English entertainment, kids, music, sports, Malayalam, Marathi, and Telugu. For a-la-carte packs, subscribers will need to recharge with a base pack costing INR150. Leading Hindi HD channels Star Plus, SAB, &TV, and Zee TV, for example, are each priced by Airtel Digital at INR22.42.

Meanwhile, Dish TV has priced its leading Hindi entertainment channels Star Plus, Colors, Sony, Sab HD, Star Movies HD at INR19. Its channels are categorised among others under business news (English), infotainment HD, Hindi movies, kids, international, and lifestyle/fashion, with pricing ranging from 0.1 paise to INR19.

Star India packs include Telugu Value pack, Hindi HD Premium, and more, while those from Times Network are Times Bouquet 1 HD, Times Bouquet 2 HD. Other channel packs from broadcasters Turner International and Sony Pictures Networks have also been listed.

The spate of announcements by distribution platform operators (DPOs) follows that of the broadcasters in declaring the maximum retail price (MRP) for their channels and bouquet rates, in line with the new tariff regime introduced by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

Multi system operator (MSO) DEN Networks has created 10 packages priced between INR199 and INR 500 per month, offering consumers a range of free-to-air and premium channels, across multiple genres.

Hathway Cable and Datacom has also created a range of localised packages for different regions in India, covering Maharashtra, Karnataka, Odisha, Sikkim, West Bengal and Hindi speaking markets. For example, its entry Namma Kannada package is priced at INR 272 and the Mana Telugu package is INR 275, while the Premium Kannada-Telugu package is priced at INR401 per month.

MSO Siti Networks has five packs comprising channels from Star India, ZEEL, Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI), IndiaCast, Discovery, Turner, and NDTV. The entry level pack of 18 channels costs INR52.5 per month, and the most expensive, with 49 channels, is priced at INR166 a month.

Under the new TRAI framework, consumers in India will, for the first time, be able to select and pay for individual TV channels on an a-la-carte basis, or to opt for a pack offered by their chosen distribution platform operator.

Consumers have until 31 January 2019 to make their channel selection, following an extension by TRAI to its original deadline of 28 December 2018. Migration of customers to the new tariffs must be completed by 1 February 2019.