Dish TV and D2h have become the first DTH providers in India to fully implement TRAI’s new tariff rules on channel pricing ahead of the Feb 1 deadline.
The two, owned by a common entity, have unveiled a tool that allows customers to add or delete any channel in their base packs, under the new TRAI regime.
The tools, which can be found here for D2h and here for Dish TV, are built on a common software platrform, and makes these DTH brands the first to fully implement TRAI’s directions on new channel and pack pricing.
According to new TRAI rules, all cable and DTH operators have to allow their customers to delete any channel in their base pack and replace those channels with those of their choice.
Earlier, the base packs were immutable and the customer only had the option of adding channels to the base pack, and not modifying the package itself.
Meanwhile, other DTH providers are still in various stages of rolling out the new schemes and plans.
While Airtel Digital and Sun Direct have not implemented the channel-choosing software solution on their websites, but have unveiled their new channel and pack lists and prices. Tata Sky, however, has not even announced the new channel prices or the names of packs that it will support.
The delay from Tata Sky has led to the regulator writing to the DTH operator seeking an explanation. The DTH operator is expected to come out with its solution this week.
HOW TO ADD, DELETE CHANNELS TO BASE PACK
Dish TV and D2h, which have been at the forefront of implementing the new tariff rules, have now completed the requirements for the changeover to the new scheme.
Customers can log in to the Dish TV and D2h websites by entering their mobile numbers and passwords and proceed to add or delete channels.
It should be kept in mind that upon login, it may not be apparent how to modify the base pack at first glance as the application only shows the option of adding new channels to the basic package, and not deleting existing channels.
To delete and modify the base pack — which D2h and Dish TV have automatically added to the customer’s cart — the customer has to click on the ‘Basic Service Tier’ link (see picture above), and then proceed to delete or remove the channels that are not required.
The user can remove all channels contained in the base pack except those of Doordarshan, and replace them with channels of his or her own choosing.
Unlike what has been reported in the media, there is no bar on including HD channels in the basic service tier, and they too can be added as part of the base pack.
Adding a single HD channel, however, will count as having added two regular channels.
In other words, while you can subscribe to 75 non-DD regular channels as part of the basic pack, you can only get 37 channels in the base pack if you choose only HD offerings.
As and when bouquets are added, the software calculates the total number of channels included so far, and shows the total network charges payable.
It should be noted that in addition to the network charges payable to Dish and D2h, the customer also has to pay content charges in case he or she adds pay channels to his or her pack.
The network charge works out to Rs 153 per month for the first 100 channels and Rs 1.18 per channel for every extra channel.
Content charges are decided by the broadcaster and ranges between 12 paise per second for some news channels to Rs 22.41 per month for channels like Star Plus and Zee.