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Signals of erring broadcaster may be trapped and aired to viewers

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Aug 9: Broadcasters who refuse to declare price of individual TV channels in Conditional Access System (CAS) areas may find their signals trapped and aired to cable TV subscribers.

This provision has been made to save viewers from the compulsion of either paying for a bouquet of all the channels of a broadcaster or view none, an arrangement the broadcasters insisted on when the system was earlier to be introduced in 2003, but was deferred.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, which has been made a regulator in the new system of TV broadcast services, has been authorised to order trapping of the erring broadcasters' signal from non-CAS areas and air it to consumer, and Information and Broadcasting Ministry official told.

TRAI may entrust this job to any agency it thinks fit. For example a MSO in a non-cas area can be asked to trap signals and release it to a particular area, he said.

Under the conditional access system of viewing, consumers will have to install Set Top Boxes (STBs) to view pay channels which are mostly entertainment and sports channels. However, there will no extra charge for viewing the Free to Air Channels, mostly news channels.

The CAS is to come into force in notified areas of Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata from December 31 as per a Delhi High Court order.

Besides ensuring signals of individual channels, there are many other consumer-friendly features of the new CAS regime.

In the system earlier to be introduced, there was no manadatory rental scheme for STBs. But now it has been made compulsory for MSOs not to sell STB directly to consumers but give them on rent.

If the consumer changes the place, he can return the STB to the MSO. Moreover Multiu-Service Operators will be responsible for maintaining the STBs etc.

UNI

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