Objecting to Nimbus Sports Broadcast pricing its channels higher than other competing sports channels, broadcast regulator Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has struck down its appeal to price its two sports channels at a premium to market rates, including in conditional access system areas.
"Trai directs Nimbus Sports Broadcast to reduce the price of the bouquet of the said Sports Channels from Rs 58.50 to the 'prevalent price' of channels of the same genre i.e. Rs 37.25," the regulator said in its direction, asking Nimbus to furnish a report of compliance within seven days from the receipt of its order.
For CAS areas, where Trai has ordered a Rs 5 ceiling on pay channel prices, the order -- on a complaint by Cable Operators Federation of India -- said, "adhere to the ceiling on maximum retail price of rupees five only per channel per subscriber per month in CAS Areas."
Nimbus, which last year bagged the four-year Board of Control for Cricket in India cricket telecast rights, had in late September reported the price of its channel, Neo Sports, as Rs 49.50 per month and price of Rs 49.50 for other channel Neo Sports Plus, and fixing Rs 58.50 as bouquet price.
On its part, Nimbus had submitted that "comparing the prices of the said sports channels with that of the other sports channels simplicitor will not be the right yardstick" and stated that the proposed price of its two channels after December 31 2006, in CAS areas, will remain unchanged "at least till for one year at current levels".
However, refusing to buy its argument, Trai ruled that the contention of Nimbus "cannot be accepted".