Home > Business > Business Headline > Report
CAS viewers may bypass basic bouquet
Bipin Chandran in New Delhi |
May 27, 2003 11:47 IST
The information and broadcasting ministry is considering the removal of a clause that makes it mandatory for cable TV viewers to pay a basic tier fee for free-to-air channels under the Conditional Access System.
According to the existing guidelines, consumers will have to subscribe to the free-to-air channels and pay the basic tier fee even if he does not watch them. The fee has been set at Rs 72 plus taxes for a bouquet of 30 channels or more.
"By making it mandatory for consumers to receive the free-to-air channels, we will be adding an additional financial burden. If consumers just want to receive some pay channels only, he should be able to do just that," a government official said.
This move comes after Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee asked the information and broadcasting ministry to take steps to ensure that consumers' interest are not hurt under the CAS. Vajpayee had met Information and Broadcasting Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Saturday to take stock of the situation.
If the ministry decides to do away with the clause, it will mean consumers will have to pay at least Rs 72 less as monthly subscription to cable operators. Besides, a consumer will only have to pay for the channels that he actually watches.
The government had also decided that broadcasting companies will not be allowed to offer pay channels as bouquets. Instead, each channel will have to be individually priced and offered to consumers.The government is also likely to ask broadcasting companies to submit the prices of individual channels by June 15.