August 2019

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Q: Thank you for WhatsApping a detailed list of 328 Pay channels along with their updated a-la-carte prices.

There however seems to be an error on item no. 7 "JAN TV Plus" which is listed as a Hindi news channel priced at ₹ 50.

The rule is that no channel can be priced above ₹ 19.

Name withheld on request, Hyderabad.

ANS: In the past, TRAI had put a ceiling on the price of Pay Channels. The court had rejected this, as it was a violation of the broadcasters right to do business.

Hence in the current tariff order, there is no ceiling on the price of any Pay Channel.

The only rule is that if the price of a Pay Channel (Standard Definition or High Definition) exceeds ₹ 19, the channel cannot be included in any bouquet.

Channels priced above ₹ 19 can only be sold a-lacarte.

The price of JAN TV PLUS is correct as you can check it through their website. In fact, there are other many channels also, priced above ₹ 19.

Just out of interest, I am listing below some of the most expensive Pay TV channels in India.

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Q: Hello, as per NTO, can LCOs charge:

1. Reactivation charges for customers whose boxes got deactivated due to non payment ?

2. Connection Shifting charges ? If so, how much ?

3. If a box gets deactivated on 12th of July, is NCF charges reversible to the customer on pro rata basis ?

Ashwin, Port Blair, Andaman Nicobar Islands
- By WhatsApp.


Activation, Re-activation and connection shifting charges are specified in the Quality Of Service (QoS) Order, which is a part of the TRAI's "The Telecommunication (Broadcasting And Cable) Services(Eighth) (Addressable Systems) Tariff Order, 2017" which we now often refer to as the 'New Tariff Order' or NTO. The relevant clauses in the QoS 2017 tariff order are:

  • No price limit for sale or hire of STBs or any other Customer Premises Equipment (CPE).
  • During commencement, consumer must be informed MRP, Network Capacity Fee, CPE, security deposit, rentals, warranty & ownership of customer premises equipment.
  • One-time installation charge to new subscribers cannot exceed ₹ 350.
  • One time activation charge cannot exceed ₹ 100.
  • Service must be activated / de-activated within 72 hours of receiving request & payment. Customer can be refused De-activation, if it is earlier than the lockin period.
  • Consumers can request upto 3 months temporary suspension of service, every year. Only CPE rentals applicable during this period.
  • Subscribers suspended for more than 3 months are not active subscribers.
  • Reactivation fee cannot exceed ₹ 25 for active & ₹ 100 for inactive subs.
  • For Relocation of a customer, the service provider can charge twice the installation fee if relocation requires dismantling of outdoor equipment (e.g. DTH Dish or outdoor amplifier) & reinstallation at the new location.


The Exact words in the relevant clause of the NTO regarding Network Capacity fee (NCF) are: Clause 4: Declaration of network capacity fee and manner of offering of channels by distributors of television channels.

  • Every distributor of television channels shall declare network capacity fee, per month, payable by a subscriber for availing a distribution network capacity so as to receive the signals of television channels: Provided that the network capacity fee, per month, for network capacity upto initial one hundred SD channels, shall, in no case, exceed rupees one hundred and thirty, excluding taxes: Provided further that the network capacity fee, per month, for network capacity in the slabs of twenty five SD channels each, beyond initial one hundred channels capacity referred to in first proviso to subclause (1), shall, in no case, exceed rupees twenty excluding taxes:
    Provided also that one HD channel shall be treated equal to two SD channels for the purpose of calculating number of channels within the distribution network capacity subscribed.

Hence to summarise:

  1. The NCF is to be quoted and charged on a "Per Month" basis.
  2. If the consumer discontinues the service in less than 1 month, no NCF refund is due to the consumer, for that month.
  3. If the consumer pays the NCF in advance for 3 months and discontinues service after 5 days, 2 month's NCF is to be refunded to the consumer.

Dish Doctor
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