Distribution platform operators (DPOs) will have to pay broadcasters based on the new pricing starting this month, the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) has said. Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's (TRAI) earlier noted that only 65 per cent of cable services subscribers and 35 per cent of DTH subscribers have migrated to the new MRP regime, prompting it to extend the deadline to March-end for those who haven't migrated.
"Effective from February 2019 onwards our member broadcasters will be raising invoices on DPOs in accordance with the provisions stipulated by TRAI under the new MRP regime," IBF said in a statement. The IBF issued the statement regarding the pricing after DPOs sought clarification following TRAI decision to extend the deadline to March 31, 2019, to those subscribers who have not yet migrated to new tariff regime.
The foundation also said its member broadcasters have executed the Reference Interconnect Offer (RIOs) under the new MRP regime with the DPOs and have implemented the new MRP regime effective February 1, 2019, as mandated by TRAI. "Thus all DPOs are statutorily bound to adhere to the provisions of the new MRP regime. Accordingly, DPOs are hereby requested to provide their monthly subscriber reports as mandated under the new MRP regime in respect of each of their subscribers on the duly notified dates -- 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th of every month," IBF said.
As per the new tariff regime, which came into effect from February 1, viewers can pick and choose the channels they wish to watch and pay for only those selected, rather than the earlier system of paying for a bundle of channels that were being pushed to viewers at a fixed rate. The order was created to bring in transparency and empowering the audience, who were earlier offered packs by DTH and cable TV operators without much choice of selection.
(With inputs from agencies.)