December 2018


In its Interactive Session at New Delhi, TRAI admitted ambiguity in reading the Supreme Court's judgement, and is proceeding on the assumption that the 15% price cap is not enforceable. On 29 Nov, the TDSAT directed TRAI to revert on the matter within 7 days.

All broadcasters have declared their new pay channel prices, which do not meet the 15% cap. All these prices could change, depending on TRAI's clarification on 5th Dec 2018.

All pay channel have dropped their prices to ₹ 19 or lower, for inclusion in bouquets. FTA channels have turned pay @ ₹ 1, to be included in pay channel bouquets, in which they are bundled free!

With no 15% price cap, broadcasters have skewed a-la-carte prices & created large bouquets with laggard channels. Consumers are once again forced to accept unwanted channels; essentially negating their only DAS benefit - to pick only what they want to watch! In fact, now consumers must even pay additional network capacity fees for channels they do not want!

TRAI's tariff order does not specify the percentage share between MSOs & LCOs, for Distribution & Network Capacity fees. This has already created turmoil on the ground, which is will persist for months, before a mutually acceptable solution is thrashed out between MSOs & LCOs.

Sadly, many LCOs do not seem to have even read or understood the overall structure of the new tariff order, which is quite different from the older regime.

Post its takeover by JIO, Hathway has declared wired broadband @ ₹ 350 per month, delivered at 50 MBps, and no consumption limit. Currently the package is offered only in Hyderabad, but it has sent off alarm bells within all ISPs.

Internationally, Commscope has bought out much larger company - ARRIS. In 2012, ARRIS had bought out (much larger) Motorola mobility from Google!

In a surprise announcement, Zee promotors have offered to sell part or even their entire stake. Bids have been invited.

The months ahead will be eventful, to say the least.