The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has issued a new statement on January 10, 2019, that the consumers have complete freedom to choose their desired 100 SD (Standard Definition) channels within the base pack. The price can go up to maximum of Rs 130, which is excluding taxes. In the press statement TRAI has said, "Consumer has complete freedom to choose their desired 100 Standard Definition (SD) channels within the network capacity fee of maximum Rs 130. The desired channels could be in a-la-carte, Free to Air channels, or Pay channels or bouquet of pay channels or any combination thereof. The choice completely rests with the consumers."
This means that for Rs 130 base pack, 100 channels are being offered. The channels (which can be free to air or paid channels) can all be decided by the consumer. "The desired channels could be in a Ia carte, free to air channels or pay channels or bouquet of pay channels or any combination thereof. The choice completely rests with the consumers," TRAI said.
Some broadcasters are advertising their channels only in the form of monthly bouquets, where they have clubbed together several channels. TRAI reminds, "Customer may note that they have option to choose channels on a-la-carte also." Which means that the users can pick the channels individually and they do not have to pick the bouquet with all the extra channels.
The base packs for both Tata Sky and Airtel's starts from Rs 99 per month. For premium channels like Zee Cinema, Sony, Star Plus, Sony Ten and Star Sports, the individual pricing shoots above Rs 20. DD, B4U Music, and 9XM a few others are some of the channels which are free-to-air channels.
For those who want more than 100 channels they will have the option of choosing them in bouquets of 25 channels at Rs 20 extra pack. Taxes will mean that the final price could be higher. But for those who do not watch too many channels, the bill will be significantly lower than current packs.
Also it has to be noted that, if a person choose one HD (High Definition) channel (not SD channel) in the base pack then it is counted as two channels.
Every cable operator/DTH player have been asked to run a separate channel (preferably on channel No. 999) for consumer information wherein consumer-related information including the prices of channels shall be displayed.
Please Note: The deadline for picking your favourite channel in order to avoid any last minute inconvenience is January 31, 2019. On February 1, 2019, these new rules and packs come into play.