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TRAI's order on pay channel tariff welcomed

Our Bureau

Chennai , Aug 31

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's order on tariff for pay channels has been welcomed, mainly by consumers in Chennai. The order, which fixes a ceiling of Rs 5 per pay channel per subscriber per month, will be effective December 31, 2006.

Mr Kayal R.S. Elavarasu, state president, Tamil Nadu Cable TV Urimaiyalargal Sangam, said that the price fixed for the pay channels will not affect cable TV operators but would definitely benefit the consumer as he would pay much less for a channel, he said.

The order states that "broadcasters are free to fix the prices of individual pay channel within this ceiling". The minimum subscription period for a pay channel is four months. There will be one month's notice to subscribers before conversion of a free-to-air channel to pay channel or vice versa.

Mr Elavarasu said that because of the order, the rate for the free-to-air channel would increase to Rs 77, from Rs 72 at present, per subscriber per month with stipulation of a minimum 30 free-to-air channels. This rate should have been increased further, he said.

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