The Bombay High Court (HC) bench reserved its judgement on the NTO 2.0 (New Tariff Order) hearing yesterday. After listening to the arguments from both parties, the court has restricted the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to take any coercive action against the broadcasters for non-implementation of the amended tariff order.
The controversy and war of words and actions continue between the TRAI and the broadcasters, who moved HC as the governing body came up with a new set of amendments within a very short span after the NTO implementation in January 2020.
This announcement was challenged legally by the major broadcasters and almost all of them came together under one roof to discuss its cons at an (Indian Broadcast Foundation) IBF organised media conference on 10 January. Even while the case was sub-judice, TRAI had released fresh directives on 24 July, asking broadcasters to publish details including maximum retail price per month of channels and maximum retail price per month of bouquets of channels, the composition of bouquets and also amended RIO and other details by August 2020. This further irked the broadcasters.
In the last couple of years, the industry has been overburdened by regulations, and as per the FICCI -EY report, NTO 1.0 reduced the number of TV subscribers by 26 million. While broadcasters are grappling from the impact of the pandemic, it is of serious concern how another change will impact the industry.