March 2020


The amended NTO 2.0 was effective from March 1. No broadcasters had published their updated Reference Interconnect Offers. The DTH operators are making changes based as suggested by TRAI. Airtel Digital TV and Tata Sky will charge ₹ 153.4 as NCF for the first 200 FTA channels, instead of 100 channels which were offered during NTO 1.0 and Rs 188.80 would be charged for subscription to channels greater than 200 SD channels.

The Bombay High Court heard the arguments of TRAI on NTO 2.0 on 27th February. The court reportedly also asked TRAI whether hearing on the matter on the implementation of TRAI 2.0 could be deferred by a month since hearing the matter will take time

Former AG Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Star India said that TRAI can’t regulate content and it has no additional jurisdiction over broadcasters, Venkatesh Dhond appearing for TRAI stated that amendments to the NTO 2.0 are have been done after extensive consultation with all stakeholders and that broadcasters cannot take undue advantage of their own action and seek interim relief.

The Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) along with Star India, ZEEL, TV18, Viacom18, Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI), Zoom Entertainment and Film & Television Producers Guild of India had challenged the TRAI’s new amendments stating that they infringe on their fundamental rights.

Several broadcasters including the Indian Broadcasting Foundation, a representative body of TV channels, The Film and Television Producers Guild of India, Zee Entertainment Ltd and Sony Pictures Network India have moved the HC. Earlier, all free-to-air channels were available for ₹ 130, and consumers needed to pay more to watch additional channels.

Under new tariffs, consumers will pay ₹ 130 as Network Capacity Fee charges, but will be entitled to 200 channels. n