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TV viewers may have to pay more for cable, DTH service in new year

Starting January 1, TV viewers may have to pay more for their monthly cable or DTH subscription, as the new tariff order for the broadcasting sector by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) becomes effective. The telecom regulator set up a new tariff regime under which consumers can select TV channels they want to watch, and pay the maximum retail price (MRP) set by their respective broadcasters for it.

All TV networks have released MRPs of their channels over the last few days. Customers will have to shell out Rs 430-440 per month for basic, non-premium channels (no HD or regional channels) under this new system. In the existing regime, consumers of phase 3 and 4 towns pay Rs 200-250, and in the big cities, cable or DTH bills run up to Rs 350-400 with over 250 channels, including sports and regional channels.

Customers will have to pay Rs 130 plus taxes for the first set of 100 channels once the new rate card becomes effective. Under the new regime, customers will have to pay Rs 450 for basic Hindi channels, if they opt for bouquets, which are discounted nearly 35-40 per cent. If they buy channels individually, it could cost them over Rs 800.

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