Department/Board : Telecom Regulatory Authority of India

Press Release No. : 78/2019

Date : 25.09.2019

TRAI releases consultation paper on Issues related to Interconnection Regulation 2017

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has today issued the consultation paper on 'Issues related to Interconnection Regulation 2017'.

2. TRAI has received representations from quite a few regional broadcasters wherein they have highlighted their concerns regarding the declaration of the target market by Distributors of television channels (DPOs). The existing regulations provide freedom to the DPOs to declare their target market for the purpose of ascertaining the carriage fee. Some of the distribution platform operators have declared multiple states (or entire country in some cases) as their target market. In such cases these regional broadcasters are required to pay very high carriage fee. Not only does this put undesired financial burden on regional broadcasters, it makes them prone to undue arm twisting by the distributors, as their subscription continues to remain lower than the minimum prescribed threshold of five percent (5%), which is the limit under which a DPO is not mandated to carry any channel.

3. Further, the placement agreement, marketing agreements or any other technical or commercial arrangements between broadcasters and Distributors (apart from RIO based agreements) are in forbearance. But now, quite a few complaints have been received from various broadcasters whereby it is being alleged that some DPOs are resorting to pushing for marketing/placement/promotion agreement, by exploiting the available forbearance.

4. In summary, the objective of this consultation process is to review the provisions of the existing Interconnection Regulation 2017 and consult all the stakeholders on the following issues:

i. Issues related to Target Market.

ii. Issues related to Placement and other agreements between broadcasters and Distributors.

5. Full text of the draft consultation paper is available on the TRAI's website.

6. Written comments on the consultation paper are invited from the stakeholders by 23 October 2019. Counter comments, if any, may be submitted by 6 November 2019. The comments and counter-comments may be sent, preferably in electronic form on the and For any clarification/information, Shri Arvind Kumar, Advisor (B&CS) may be contacted at Tel. No.: +91-11-23220209.

(S. K. Gupta)
Secretary, TRAI