TRAI new TV channel tariffs india

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has introduced a new tariff model for cable television subscribers that is solely executed as a fair pricing model for both customers and broadcasters. TRAI also marks the deadline as March 31, 2019, for the subscribers to choose the channels they prefer to watch and pay for. As the final date is fast approaching, the people of India across various states felt differently to pay such an exorbitant tariff to just watch the conventional television programs.

YouGov, a leading market research and data company, conducted a survey among 1,020 cable TV subscribers in India during March 2019 after the new TRAI criteria rolled out.

The collective responses to the survey derive that 54% of Indians felt a strange hassle that the new tariff model is making them pay a hefty amount exceeding the traditional pricing for cable television. On the other hand, 32% of the participants seem to appreciate the goods of watching their favourite channels at a reasonable price and also felt happier paying lesser than the usual amount what they paid initially.

However, only 14% felt they pay the exact amount as earlier without any significant changes.

Actually, the TRAI’s intention to the change the pricing is truly expressed to extend affordable tariff to the end consumer which in turn also profits the broadcaster.

Indians pay for cable television

The TRAI’s criterion is specified only to emphasise the customer’s television viewing experience by providing them with the option or liberty to pay only for the channels they tune on. As a result, 23% of respondents feel that the new TRAI regulation will increase their TV watching time while 31% feel this initiative will expose them to the variety of content consumed on TV. Nevertheless, 46% of participants are worried about this move as it would shoot up their monthly spends on the DTH subscriptions.

“The countrywide implementation of the new regulation is bound to have an impact on viewership and advertisers need to revisit their media plans in accordance with the changing consumer behaviour. Although TV viewing may not change drastically, we see the likelihood of people moving online. Advertisers thus need to carefully align and study how they can reallocate their budgets.”, as quoted by Deepa Bhatia, General Manager, YouGov India.

Netflix, Amazon And HotStar Cheer

On keen observation, YouGov analysis confirms that nearly half of the participants (49%) feel that the new TRAI regulation would undoubtedly increase the amount of time they generally spend on viewing fresh episodes on OTT platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hotstar.

OTT is referred to the “over-the-top,” streaming service, which is meant to use for the distribution of digital content through the broadband carrier, without demanding users to subscribe to a conventional cable or satellite DTH pay-TV services.

Through the data obtained it is more obvious now that those who have returned their DTH subscriptions after the execution of new TRAI guidelines are more inclined to watch their favourite programs over OTT, both watching TV content and fresh content than those who are still using the traditional cable network.

The revenue contribution of the Video OTT market in India is expected to increase from $500 million in 2018 to $5 billion by 2023. Interestingly, rural India will play a huge role in the consumption of OTT content.

Following the execution of the new cable television tariff on February, cable TV operators were cornered to a huge chaotic confusion from customers over removed channels, soaring prices, and indeed a TV blackout. In order to perform the process easier, TRAI had also launched a specific app to accommodate users to select channels of their choice.

All said and done, TRAI’s new pricing model opens the floodgates to internet streaming services like Netflix, Hotstar and Amazon Video who are ardently making their best efforts to accomplish the TRP rate and the number of viewers.

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