Chandigarh: In a development that comes as a jolt to the crores of TV viewers across the country, Zee TV has now initiated a move to effect an unprecedented increase in rates per subscriber (charged from distribution intermediaries) and subscription fee (charged from individual connection users) for its bouquet of channels. The broadcaster has proposed an unheard of 637 per cent increase in the rates it charges per user from the distribution intermediaries. From the present Rs 27 per month per subscriber, the new rate proposed for its bouquet of 41 channels has been pegged at Rs 172.90!
The new tariffs have been outlined in a document put up by the company, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL ) on its website, on the proposed rates to be charged to its intermediaries including DTH operators, Multi-system operators (MSO), Headend in the Sky (HITS), IPTV etc. Similarly, the proposed subscription rates for individual channels too have shot up manifold.
How does it impact the individual household? The distribution intermediaries would be left with no option but to pass on the increased tariffs to their individual connection users. For example, as of now the average cable bill charged by a MSO / DTH for a connection comes to around Rs. 250 to Rs.300 for all channels. Under the new pricing, the end user would need to shell out anywhere between Rs 395 to Rs 445!
And this does not end here. Following the footsteps of ZEE network, the othe major broadcasters too have initiated such steep tariff hikes (though not actively like ZEE), which if implemented would lead to a monthly cable bill of anywhere between Rs 1000 to Rs 1500.
Whereas the other broadcasters are still to initiate any move in this direction, ZEE has already started to interface with the intermediaries demanding an implementation of the new rates from May 1 as mandated by a TDSAT order earlier.
(Raj Machhan is Head, Digital Media with Daily Post India)
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