January 24, 2017
By Thanussha Priyah
India – CASBAA, the Association of Asia’s pay-TV Industry warmly applauded the judicial review in India for proposed extension and tightening of its pay-TV rate regulations. The Madras High Court is currently reviewing the clash between the rights of copyright owners around the world and new tariff regulations proposed by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).
Indian law gives copyright owners the ability to price and sell their creative works. In filing the Madras suit, the petitioner broadcasting organisations denounced the TRAI regulation as contrary to these principles as enshrined in the law, and in international treaties to which India is a signatory. (The TRAI rules would establish a controlled price regime by mandating a la carte channel supply, setting the ceiling, by specific genres, broadcasting organisations can charge to multichannel programme distributors, limiting discounts, prescribing carriage fees, and stipulating a compulsory distribution fee to be paid by Broadcasting Organisations to multichannel programme distributors.
CASBAA’s Chief Policy Officer John Medeiros observed that “As convergence and greater competition sweep the TV economy, other governments around the world are eliminating rate controls, to give more scope to competition among traditional and new online providers. In the last few years, Korea and Taiwan have both undertaken to liberalise their pay-TV price controls, leaving India as the last market economy in Asia with a hyper-regulatory regime. The proposed new rules would take India in the opposite direction from the rest of the world.”