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How the new TRAI regulations will change your television bill?

All the network operators and broadcasters have been compelled by TRAI to have a base package with 100 standard definition channels

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The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has circulated a new set of regulations which have been in effect from February 1 for the broadcast sector, wherein the television viewers will only have to pay for the channels they intend to watch. Accordingly, the final bill for the consumers will be on the basis of the channels they choose.

Therefore, broadcasters have fixed the maximum retail price for each channel, while cable TV or DTH operators like Airtel and Tata Sky have created their own package deals for customers.

Here is the segregation of what you will have to pay from this month onwards for your TV service:

The Base Package

All the network operators and broadcasters have been compelled by TRAI to have a base package with 100 standard definition channels. The consumers are free to choose these free-to-air (FTA) channels from a list of offers. This package would cost the viewers a maximum of ₹130, excluding the Goods and Service Tax (GST).

For instance, Airtel and Tata Sky are currently offering their base packs for Rs 99. However, the customer can buy a pay channel separately over the package at its individual cost. As per TRAI, there are 330 pay TV channels and 535 FTA channels.

TRAI has provided the list of the prices for all the channels as well as the deals provided by all broadcasters. The television authority has also clarified that no broadcaster can charge more than the MRP of a channel but can offer a discounted price to attract the audiences. Alongside, to add pay channels to one's list, the customer will first have to remove the same number of FTA channels. The overall number of channels in a base package cannot be more than 100.

The Migration Plan

In case you have already paid for an annual plan, the cable or DTH distributor will be providing the services until the remaining period without changing tariffs. However, if you choose to switch to a new package after February 1, the balance amount of the existing plan can b e used for the new package.

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