Netflix, Hotstar and Amazon may cheer as watching TV in India may get costlier

Netflix, Hotstar and Amazon may cheer as watching TV in India may get costlier
Increase in cable TV pricing will result in viewers switching to OTT platforms
  • The new deadline to select the channels users wish to pay for is March 31.
  • 54% of Indians believe that the pay-per-use option which was set to be convenient for them is actually more expensive.
  • When the new pricing had come into effect on February 1, customers were not happy as there were missing channels and even a television blackout.
Just a few days are left to meet the deadline set by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) for cable television subscribers in India to select the channels they wish to pay for.

A survey done by YouGov shows that 54% of Indians feel they are paying more than they used to for cable television before the new norms kicked in. YouGov, a global public opinion and data company, conducted the survey among 1,020 respondents in India in March 2019.

This may help online streaming services like Netflix, Hotstar and Amazon who are looking to draw more viewers.

In January 2019, TRAI had announced a new pricing model where viewers had the option to choose the individual channels that they would like to subscribe to and pay for those alone.

But soon after the implementation of the new television pricing on February, cable TV operators were subject to a huge uproar from customers over missing channels, higher prices, and even a TV blackout.

To set things in order, TRAI had extended the deadline to March 31, giving operators and subscribers time to sort out the issues. To make the process easier, TRAI had also launched an app to help users select channels.

On its website, TRAI has also listed the prices for each channel as well as the prices for bouquets of channels being offered, so as to avoid confusion.

However, despite the efforts, it is going to be difficult to keep viewers of television from straying away to other content sources.

The survey also shows that with the increased prices, 49% of Indians believe that the time they spend watching shows online (through OTT platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hotstar) is only going to increase.

See Also:
TV sets blackout in India as new rules kick in – and the regulator fuming
India’s new cable TV pricing will force broadcasters to put on better shows