The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) announced an increase of about 7 percent in cable rates, both conditional access system (CAS) notified and non-CAS areas in the country.
The changed tariffs would be applicable from New Year's Day 2009.
As per the new tariffs, a viewer will have to pay Rs 5.37 per channel in the CAS-notified areas (Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai).
Earlier, the rate was Rs 5 per channel. The rates for watching free-to-air channels have also been increased by Rs 5. The Telecom regulator has increased tariff on basic tier services to Rs 82 from 77, in which a viewer gets 30 free-to-air channels.
The cable rates for the non-CAS areas have also been increased by 7 per cent.
In its statement, TRAI said, “It was felt necessary to provide for inflation-linked increase on the ceiling for different players of the delivery chains of cable TV services and accordingly 7% increase has been provided based on the wholesale price index in non-CAS areas.”
On the other hand, the prices for the security deposits and rentals of the set top boxes (STB) have been decreased.
As per the Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Amendment Order, 2008, now cable operators will take a security deposit of Rs 200 and Rs 750 and charge a monthly rental of Rs 34 and Rs 22 in CAS and non-CAS areas, respectively. Earlier, it was Rs250 and Rs 999 and the monthly rental was Rs 45 and Rs 30.
Similar upward adjustments in the cable channel tariffs were made by TRAI in 2003 and 2005.