TRAI calls on third parties to improve Indian cable, broadcast discovery | Major Businesses | Business
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Aiming to build on the regulatory framework that it announced in 2017, Indian broadcast regulator TRAI has issued a draft amendment aiming to improve TV viewers' choice and ease of selection of the channels they wish to watch.

TRAI logo 3 Jan 2018The regulator says that it has made its official move after a welter of complaints from viewers that they have not been able to choose conveniently, or indeed says TRAI make real choice, of channels from distribution platform operators’ (DPOs’) portals and apps. The complaints that TRAI received were passed on to the providers but the regulatory body feels that the time has come to take action so that the industry can offer what it regards as adequate freedom and choice to consumers.

In order to address above issue, and acting, it says, in the broader public interest, TRAI believes that it is necessary to have channel selection system developed by third parties to facilitate easy channel selection by consumers.
Under the new regulation, third party apps will have to be accessible by every customer of the broadcasting and cable services sector, facilitating the easy choice to consumers.

To facilitate functioning of third-party apps, TRAI has created a channel selection system API specifications document which prescribes common APIs with all DPOs. TRAI intends to mandate all the DPOs to share compulsorily information from the apps after authenticating subscribers so that such apps can help in easy selection of the required TV channels. TRAI is also looking to reduce TV viewing charges by optimising their subscriptions while allowing them to view channels of their interest.

As part of the proceess in drafting its new regulation, TRAI is now seeking the comments of concerned stakeholders up until 22 August 2019.