The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) new framework, which kicked in from 1 February 2019, allows customers to pay only for the channel they wish to watch in an effort to bring down the bills of subscribers while also bringing in transparency, uniformity and wider user choice.
However, comparisons between the TRAI's new regime and channels offered by over- the-top applications (OTT) like Hotstar, Zee5 and Sony Liv has revealed that the latter is cheaper than the prices offered by cable and DTH operators, the Financial Express reports.
Watching on apps would cost more due to mobile data or WiFi charges. An average WiFi connection is around Rs 1,000 per month (pm), and a regular postpaid bill is between Rs 400 and Rs 900 and the monthly bill, after adding the costs, would reach Rs 3,500 a month.
To ensure the calculation is simple and costs between OTT apps and cable TV are comparable, the FE report has considered 17 channels - Star Sports, Star World, HBO, Star Plus, Zee TV, Zee Cinema, &flix, &pictures, Sony Set, SAB, SET Max, Pix, etc., which can be watched easily on the apps by paying premium content charge.
The premium content of Hotstar, Sony Liv and Zee5 are available at Rs 999, Rs 499 and Rs 999 respectively annually, totalling to Rs 2,497 periodically to watch the 17 channels.
The same 17 channels on cable or DTH connection would cost Rs 430.70 pm, totalling to Rs 5,168.40 per year. The amount is inclusive of the Network Capacity Fee (NCF) of Rs 130 pm plus taxes. According to the report, the calculation has been done on the TRAI website and considers SD channels.
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