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Operators to offer channels à la carte

Nagpur: Local cable operators (LCOs), who had been forcing shoppers to go for television channel packages, have now promised to supply them channels on à los angeles carte basis with Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) extending the cut-off date for opting for channels until March 31.
Addressing a press convention on Wednesday, LCO chief Subhash Bante said that operators had been providing packages to shoppers as they had been overburdened with cut-off date of February 15 looming close to. “It takes around 50 minutes for a shopper to choose channels on à los angeles carte basis. On the opposite hand opting for a package deal takes just a few minutes,” he added.

Citing his personal example, Bante said, “I have about 2,000 shoppers and six staffers. How can six persons go to properties of so many shoppers and get bureaucracy crammed up inside this sort of short duration. Now that TRAI has prolonged the cut-off date, we will no longer drive any one to go for packages.”

The LCO admitted that customers must pay much less if they go for channels on à los angeles carte basis. “You need to pay Rs20 as additional network capability rate (NCF) for each and every 25 pay channels. If you go for a package deal the choice of channels you subscribe unnecessarily goes up and you find yourself paying more,” he said.

Replying to a query, he said, “Broadcasters had been fleecing shoppers by way of forcing them to go for channels that they did not watch. They informed advertisers that their group had 20 channels and use to ask companies to advertise on all their channels instead of those that people watch. There are at this time 852 channels in the country of which 250 to 300 will shut down inside six months.”

On shoppers unable to watch channels that they had selected, Bante said, “GTPL server has crashed and therefore shoppers are unable to look some channels. We have mentioned this factor with multi-system operators (MSOs). They have assured to fix the issue once imaginable. Till then shoppers should endure with us.”

According to the LCO, TRAI is yet to make a decision the proportion of their earnings in the subscription rate paid by way of shoppers. “We were assured that it will be mounted quickly,” he said.

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