Mumbai: Broadcasters were forced to relook into their distribution strategy following the introduction of New Tariff Regime with MRP by Telecom Regulator TRAI. The Process has rendered many to move from being Free-to-Air (FTA) to PayTV, as the new rule introduced by TRAI prohibits bundling of FTA Channels with Pay Channels.
After the expiry of rollout deadline on 29th December with a relief for consumers till 1st February, The Industry is getting clarity on list of FTA channels that are being offered under the New Tariff Regime. According to the new list of FTA channels Hindi languages channels in multi genres lead the charts followed by Regional language channels in South and other parts of the country.
Among the list of FTA channels available in India, Hindi languages channels top the charts with 200+ Hindi FTA channels that includes channels across all genres like GECs, News, Sports, Movies, Music, Comedy etc.
The second language with a large selection of free channels is Tamil. There are an estimated 50 FTA channels in Tamil language.Telugu is at No.3 with around 40 such free channels, while Malayalam has around 35.
The chart following chart gives fair idea on the list FTA channels declared as on date in various languages in multiple genres:
Free-to-Air, are the ones that any DTH or cable subscriber can activate without paying extra charges, as long as he or she has space for activating the same within the existing pack.For example, if a user has subscribed to a base pack with a limit of 100 channels and has activated only 60 channels at present, he or she can add 30 or 40 FTA channels of his or her own choice
If, on the other hand, he already has 100 channels active out of the total capacity of 100, then he or she will have to pay extra ‘network’ charges.Extra network charges come to Rs 29.5 per month for every 20 new channels added.
In other words, if a subscriber adds an extra 40 channels, he or she will have to pay extra network charges of up to Rs 59 per month, taking the total monthly bill to Rs 154+59, or Rs 213.
On the other hand, if the subscriber deletes existing channels when adding new FTA offerings, he does not have to pay any extra amount for the new line-up.
However, it should be noted that not every operator is carrying all FTA channels.
In other words, even if a channel is free, a subscriber may not be able to watch it if the channel is not present on the cable or DTH operator’s platform. Dish TV and Tata Sky, for example, offer the highest number of Hindi FTA channels. But even they don’t offer more than half of all Hindi FTA channels registered in India.