Broadcasters are fighting TRAI for their survival

2020 seems to continue with the trend of bearing bad news for television broadcasters in India. On 1 January, the telecom regulator introduced some changes to the rules governing pricing and packaging of TV channels.

TRAI tightened price caps on channels that are part of a bundle and limited broadcasters from offering more than a 33% discount. To say that this amendment, which will come into effect in March 2020, has left the broadcasters upset would be an understatement. Within days of the announcement, the top executives across almost all the large broadcasting companies came together—a rare sight—and condemned the changes.

This comes on the back of the broadcasters bruising defeat last year, when the Supreme Court cleared TRAI’s new tariff order revamping prices. The new battle against the amendment, however, is a bigger one. For one, it is being opposed by a larger set of leading broadcasters. Two, it is a fight for survival and relevance, and not over who can regulate what.

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