India on Sunday beat Australia by 6 wickets to go 2-0 up in the series. The win has guaranteed the Indian team of retaining Border- Gavaskar Trophy for the 4 consecutive time. While the test match ended in two and half days, there is trouble brewing off the field ahead of the next test match. The 3rd test is slated to begin from 1st March and if reports are to be believed there is a good chance the fans could lose out on watching the game.
The story so far –
BCCI had decided to host the 3rd game of the series at the Dharamsala ground in Himachal Pradesh. Due to the drainage facilities at the ground and the prevailing weather conditions, the match was shifted to Indore.
Broadcasters versus Cable Operators in the middle of stand off –
Off the field there is trouble brewing as there is a fight going on between the broadcasters and cable operators. The reason is hike in prices of some channels. As of February 1st, 2023, there has been a new tariff rule in place put in by TRAI. This hasn’t sat down well with the All India Digital Cable Federation (AIDCF).
The broadcasters have increased the tariff by a margin of about 10-15%. With the likes of Sony, Zee and Disney Star India deciding to turn of their broadcast after the AIDCF did not sign the agreement. Both the sides are playing hardball and now this has come to haunt the people.
AIDCF releases statement –
Disney Star is the channel which is broadcasting the India vs Australia series. they also have the TV rights for the upcoming Inagural Women’s Premier League and the 2023 TATA IPL season.
The AIDCF released a statement which read “Disney Star, Sony and Zee have disconnected services of their channels on the members of AIDCF as well as other cable TV platforms. These cable TV platforms have not executed the revised RIOs with these broadcasters as a mark of protest against the unreasonable pricing by the broadcasters”
What does the new order say?
As Per the new order, TRAI has revised and hiked the price after nearly 4 years. In this there is a 10-25% hike in prices for channel or channels or bouquet of channels bought for viewing purposes. The new rules were set to come into place from 1st February but since the India- Australia series was set to begin on 9th February the broadcasters continued to play ball hoping AIDCF will sign the agreement. The first two tests were shown after which Zee became the first big name to back out and stop its services.
Cable Operators statement to viewers
Hathway Broadcasting released a statement on the TV screens which read “Dear consumers, the broadcaster has made a steep increase in the prices pursuant to the new tariff order by TRAI. Please note that Broadcaster may switch off the channel from our platform as we have decided to protect the interest of the consumers against any hike in channel prices. Request your cooperation,”
IBDF break their silence –
The Indian Broadcasters and Digital Foundation (IBDF) finally broke their silence on the matter. Siddharth Jain who happens to be their general secretary said “Broadcasters had taken a price increase after 4 years post the release of new NTO guidelines by TRAI. Most DTH and Cable operators, whose base adds up to 80% of India’s PayTV customers, have already started implementing the new prices and they have had to increase consumer prices by approx 5 per cent after 4 years,”
Fans react –
A few fans took to Twitter and had their say on the whole matter and asked the TRAI to step in to resolve the issue before it escalates. Here are the tweets from the fans.
Some of the broadcasters have laid-off people or will lay off people in the future and they dare to increase prices what a hypocrisy. @TRAI @PMOIndia @HMOIndia @ianuragthakur @MIB_India @ANI @PTI_News @Robertiger #GreedyBroadcaster pic.twitter.com/Os9a0ztQTQ— Sandeep kishore 🇮🇳 (@sandeepkishore_) February 20, 2023
Not too late till we see channels like TRAI tak, TRAI TV or even TRAI 18 such is the sorry state of TRAI who has failed to even complete its basic KRA as a regulator @AIDCF_IN #GreedyBroadcaster pic.twitter.com/iH1w2qc9vT— Versha Singh (@Vershasingh26) February 20, 2023
I think @TRAI should step in and find a more consumer-friendly solution. This is not fair at all. @PMOIndia @HMOIndia @ianuragthakur @MIB_India @ANI #GreedyBroadcaster pic.twitter.com/Y64oBWvL6I— Abbas Mirza (@AbbasMi76986837) February 20, 2023
It's about #GreedyBroadcaster we need to know why are the regulators silent when so many people are suffering @TRAI @PMOIndia @HMOIndia @ianuragthakur @MIB_India @ANI @PTI_News pic.twitter.com/AR8d0QSv6z— Jitendra Yadav 🇮🇳 (@jeeetofficial) February 20, 2023