The TRAI’s MRP-based tariff rule may not be a bad bargain for the consumer, as it is aimed at preventing channels and DTH providers from bundling unwanted channels with the desired ones. Will Tata Sky pass the TRAI test? Will the Supreme Court accept TRAI’s objection?
New Delhi: Direct-to-home television service provider Tata Sky on Tuesday announced an aggressive 44% discount for new subscribers, triggering off a price war in this segment of the market. In effect, this is a continuation of the Diwali offers from the company, enabling the subscriber to save up to Rs 2,000.
New subscribers of Tata Sky can now get a connection, including the HD monthly ultra-pack, for Rs 1,690. This pack used to cost Rs 2,935 earlier. There are other offers, which drastically reduces the cost by up to Rs 2,000.
What is in it for me?
The announcement has left the existing customers of Tata Sky wondering whether they must discontinue the service and apply for a fresh connection. However, the company has a strategy to keep its base intact. If you offer the DTH provider a new customer, you get a Rs 300 worth referral bonus, and the new customer that Tata Sky gets from you gets the connection free for the first month.
Sony back, Amazon added
The development follows another welcome news for the subscribers who now see all Sony channels that had gone off air back in their respective bouquets. To add a killer punch to the overall package, Tata Sky is now partnering with Amazon, offering services via Amazon Fire TV device. One device is allotted to every single subscriber ID.
Tata Sky subscribers can access over-the-top (OTT) content at just Rs 249 with their new Binge service. Binge picks content from a vast library populated by different distributors and content providers (Hotstar, Hungama Play, SunNxt, Video on Demand, etc), and puts the compilation in a single app for aggregation.
Considering several other benefits that the DTH provider is offering, the discounts range between Rs 199 and Rs 735. In south India, a customer gets a minimum discount of Rs 415.
Spoiler: TRAI policy proves counterproductive
Earlier this month, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India had moved the Supreme Court requesting a cap of 15% on discounts offered by DTH companies. This was in accordance with the TRAI’s new MRP-based tariff order.
“If you remove the cap, broadcasters will arbitrarily and discriminatorily resort to heavy discounting on the bouquets as compared to the MRP rates, and choice in true sense will not be there. Consumer will once again be forced to buy the entire bouquet,” a DTH executive had said.
Due to the recent Madras High Court order and prices announced by channels, the implementation of the TRAI order from December 29 will raise prices for cable and DTH services in the country.
The MRP-based approach was aimed at preventing broadcasters and DTH providers from bundling junk channels with the desirable ones. But with the help of discounts, the players in the market are trying to circumvent the TRAI policy.
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Last Updated 6:13 PM IST