Press Trust of india

New regulatory framework promises TV viewers 'freedom of choice'

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New Delhi, Dec 27 :  The new regulatory framework for broadcasting and cable services that comes into force this week will provide "freedom of choice" and give consumers "direct control" on their monthly bill for television services, the government said Thursday.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) in March, 2017, had notified the new regulatory framework for Broadcasting and Cable services and re-notified it on July 03, 2018, prescribing the implementation schedule.

In a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha, Information and Broadcasting Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore said TRAI, in consultation with all the service providers, is preparing a migration plan for smooth implementation of the new framework.

The migration plan will ensure that no inconvenience is caused to consumers, due to change in the regulatory framework, Rathore said.

As per the new framework, the consumer will get to choose the channels of his or her choice, the minister said.

"The freedom of choice will mean a direct control of the consumer on his monthly bill for Television Services. Once a consumer gets a choice and exercises option, the last element of the society is likely to be benefitted," he said.

Amid speculation that there may be a blackout of subscribed channels when the new regulatory framework for broadcasting and cable services comes into affect, TRAI on Wednesday had also assured consumers that there will be no disruption of TV services due to the order's implementation.

The authority has noticed that there are messages circulating in the media that there may be a black-out of existing subscribed channels on TV screens after December 29, when the new order comes into effect, TRAI had said in a statement.

To another question in Lok Sabha on complaints against TV channels, Rathore said the ministry receives complaints regarding alleged violation of the programme code, which are examined through an instrument of inter-ministerial committee, and action is taken against the violators.

During the last three years and the current year, 24 warnings or advisories have been issued to various private channels for violation of the programme code including for encouraging superstition etc.


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