TRAI extends deadline to choose TV channels, customers now have time till March 31

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has again extended the deadline for selection of TV channels by both cable and Direct-to-Home (DTH) subscribers till March 31. This decision was taking following a meeting with DTH operations and multi-system operators (MSO), two days ago.

The new framework came into force on February 1 and several consumers who did not migrate to the new tariff norms complained about paid channels being deactivated. The TRAI also told the operators to design a “best fit plan” for the subscribers who have not migrated to the new framework.

TRAI stated that the ‘best fit plan’ shall be designed based on consumers’ usage pattern, language spoken and popularity of channels. It should preferably be a blended combination of various genres. While making ‘best fit plan’ for a subscriber, DPOs (distribution platform operators) should ensure that payout per month of the ‘best fit plan’ generally does not exceed the payout per month of existing tariff plan of the subscriber.

“The subscribers will be free to change their ‘best fit plan’ at any date and time on or before March 31, 2019, and distribution platform operators shall convert their ‘best fit plan’ into the desired (channels) pack within 72 hours from the time choice exercised,” the regulator said in a statement, adding that there will be no ‘lock-in period’ till March 31 for such subscribers.

There are about 100 million cable service TV homes and 67 million DTH TV homes in the country. According to TRAI, approximately 65 per cent of the subscribers of the cable services and 35 per cent subscribers of the DTH services have already exercised the option of selecting the channels of their choice.

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