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Broadcasters propose hike in channel rates; SC to decide

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KOLKATA: Television channel broadcasters have moved the Supreme Court against the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s decision to cap channel price in bouquets at Rs 12 from December 1.
The Indian Broadcasting and Digital Federation (IBDF) – a broadcasters’ body – has placed before the apex court a proposal that involves moving most of their popular channels out of packages and offering them individually at a price that is 30%-50% higher than the existing rates. A verdict is expected later this month.
If the IBDF’s proposal is accepted, the monthly cable TV subscription price could rise by around 50% from next month. Some of the major broadcasters, including Star & Disney India, Sony Pictures Networks India, Zee Entertainment and Viacom 18, have come up with new price lists keeping their flagship channels out of bouquets and pricing them between Rs 15 and Rs 30.
Local cable operators fear such a hike will deal a crippling blow to the cable TV industry.
“Two years ago, channel prices went up by around 40% and it led to a dip in subscription in Kolkata. This time, another 25%-30% hike has been proposed which, in effect, will lead to a 50%-60% rise in subscription charges since 2019,” said Tapash Das, joint convenor of All Bengal Cable TV and Broadband Operators’ United Forum.
As per the proposal, major sports, entertainment, infotainment and movie channels will now be priced between Rs 15 and Rs 30.




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