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TV channel selection to get easier; TRAI developing this new app for cable TV, DTH customers

Prachi Gupta

Months after rolling out its ambitious plan to charge consumers only for the channels that they wish to watch, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) said that it wants to streamline the channel selection procedure and is working with a third party to develop an application. The application will help the users in choosing TV channels from various cable and DTH providers according to the new tariff rules. Stating that the regulator has received a large number of complaints regarding inability to choose the TV channels conveniently, try will soon launch the Channel Selection System, it said in a statement. Further, TRAI also wishes to reduce TV viewing charges of the consumers by optimizing the subscription.

"It was noticed that quite a few Distribution Platform Operator platform were not providing adequate freedom and choice to consumers," TRAI said, adding that the customers were also facing the issues from DPO call centres as they were not able to help the users to exercise choice of the channels. TRAI has analyzed the user complaints and forwarded them to the DPOs as well as some of the DPOs were not fulfilling the criteria set by TRAI. According to TRAI, "quite a few DPOs platforms were not providing adequate freedom and choice to consumers".

How does optimization work?

Several media companies offer bundled channels for lesser value as compared to the cost of the channels when selected individually. TRAI had released a mock channel selector application previously as well where the application bundled such channels to avoid extra costs. TRAI may look to add the same feature to the new application as well.

TRAI's new regime for TV watching was launched in February 2019 and aimed at revolutionizing the way consumers pay for TV subscriptions. Under the same, TRAI transferred the power of selecting channels to the customers, thus making it possible for consumers to pay for only those channels that they wish to watch. However, many customers were left baffled when the execution of the new norms fell on them.