The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India released on 6 March 2009 a consultation paper on DTH issues relating to Tariff Regulation and issues relating to Value added Services (such as Movie-On-Demand, Pay-per-View), Platform services (such as Active Learning, Active Stories etc.) and carrying of Radio channels on DTH platform.
The Direct-to-Home (DTH) TV services in India started gaining momentum from 2006 onwards. With the entry of new DTH service providers, there has been a rapid growth in the number of subscribers using DTH services. At present there are five pay DTH service providers who have commenced their services. Today, there are more than ten million subscribers of DTH services.
No formal tariff order has been issued by TRAI for DTH services so far. However, in order to ensure that DTH operators can get TV channels from broadcasters without any difficulty, the authority gave a roadmap for speedy conclusion of interconnection agreements between the broadcasters and the DTH licensees based on interactive discussions with the broadcasters of pay channels. For this purpose, a press release was issued on 18th April, 2008 which essentially provides that the broadcasters will provide their bouquets and channels to the DTH operators at 50% of the rates at which these bouquets and channels are being offered to the non-CAS cable TV platform.
There have been requests from the DTH service providers for tariff regulation for DTH services. On a petition filed by one of the DTH operators, Hon’ble Punjab and Haryana High Court has also asked TRAI to consider and decide on the comprehensive representation of this DTH operator.
Further, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India has recently requested TRAI to give its recommendations on provisioning of value added services like Movie on Demand, Video on Demand and Pay Per View by DTH operator; carrying of radio channels on DTH platform; emerging new business models in DTH services etc. The consultation paper has included these issues as well as the tariff related issues relating to DTH services. Comments of all the stakeholders on the issues raised in the consultation paper are invited.
5. The Authority has invited all stakeholders to respond to the issues raised in this consultation paper by 14th April, 2009. The comments received will be posted on TRAI’s website. The full text of the consultation paper is available on TRAI’s website: www.trai.gov.in.