TRAI TARIFF ORDER: Jaya TV becomes the first to publish prices

Jaya TV’s new prices in conformity with TRAI tariff order 2020

Mavis Satcom, which operates channels under the Jaya TV banner, has become the first broadcasting company to comply with regulator TRAI’s order to publish updated channel prices by end of day today.

The company published prices of four channels and one bouquet.

The channel prices remain unchanged and range from Rs 0.50 for Jaya Plus to Rs 6 per month for Jaya TV HD. A bouquet or pack containing all four channels has been priced at Rs 8 per month.

On January 1, TRAI unveiled new rules for the pricing of TV channels under which no channel that is priced above Rs 12 per month can be included in a bouquet/package. The purpose of the amended regulations is to bring down consumer prices.

TRAI also stipulated certain conditions, including that the sum of all individual channels in a pack cannot be more than 1.5 times the pack price.

For example, in case of Jaya TV’s bouquet, the sum of all channel prices should not be more than 1.5 times the price of the pack. Given that the price of the package is Rs 8, the sum of all channels should not be more than 1.5 times 8, or Rs 12 per month.

Adding the prices of all channels — Rs 2.25+2.25+0.50+6.00 — gives a sum of Rs 11, which means that the new pricing structure is in conformity with the amended TRAI rules.

It remains to be seen how many of the broadcasters comply with TRAI’s orders.

During the original roll-out of the tariff order last year, several companies — especially distributors such as cable and DTH companies — missed several deadlines set by the TRAI.

However, last time, broadcasters were prompt to comply with the timeline.

Yesterday, the Bombay High Court rejected a plea by some of the big broadcasters to defer the process of publishing new rates.

“ the event that the Impugned Provisions [new tariff order] are not stayed/Respondent is not restrained from giving effect to the Impugned Provisions, the Petitioner No.1’s [IBF] members shall be forced to upload their amended Reference Interconnect Offers (“RIO”) on their respective website and new contracts would come into effect creating third party rights with over 100,000 entities, the rollback whereof would be impossible,” Indian Broadcasting Foundation had said in its petition yesterday.

However, the High Court posted the matter for hearing on January 22, on which date it may or may not issue a stay.