Bombay HC to give verdict on NTO 2.0 on 24 August

Bombay High Court is expected to give a verdict on the NTO (new tariff order) 2.0 case between TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) and broadcasters on 24 August. Until then, both parties have agreed to wait before taking any further decision. 

The NTO 2.0 hearing on 6 August was postponed due to heavy rains and  the court asked TRAI to not take any action against broadcasters who haven’t yet implemented NTO 2.0.

During Friday’s hearing, the case was presented before the original bench comprising justice AA Sayed and justice Anuja Prabhudesai. The legal battle which is ongoing since long, was fueled with TRAI citing a regulatory vacuum, releasing a fresh directive on 24 July offending the broadcasters who have already been battling with the impact of the pandemic.

It asked broadcasters to publish details including maximum retail price per month of channels and maximum retail price per month of bouquets of channels, the composition of bouquets and also amended reference interconnect offer (RIO) and other details on their websites by 10 August.

Earlier, the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) suggested that the new order is expected to disrupt the subscription revenues monetisation models of broadcasters, cable operators and DTH players. Broadcasters said that the arbitrary slashing down of MRP cap by almost 40 per cent for channels to be part of a bouquet, without any logical rationale or consumer insight, will not help in lowering cable bills. In fact, for the first time they acknowledged that the first tariff order increased cable bills for consumers, and even led to a drop of nearly two crore subscribers.