TRAI directs MSOs not to place channels under multiple genres

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has directed Multi System Operators (MSOs) not to place channels at more than one Logical Channel Number (LCN) under multiple genres simultaneously. The Authority views such practice as a material non-compliance of the extant regulatory framework prescribed by it and will take action against erring MSOs under the provisions of the TRAI Act, 1997. 

For the cable TV service provided through digital addressable systems, the technology provides for an Electronic Programme Guide (EPG), wherein the channels being carried on the operator’s network can be arranged and indexed in a simple, easy to understand manner so that the consumer can easily go through this guide and select the channel of his choice, instead of flipping through all the channels. This display of channels in EPG can be genre-wise where all the channels of a particular genre are listed under that genre. 

In a note issued to the media, TRAI stated that in terms of extant regulatory framework, every broadcaster is required to declare the genre of its channel and such genre shall be either ‘News and Current Affairs’ or ‘Infotainment’ or ‘Sports’ or ‘Kids’ or ‘Music’ or ‘Lifestyle’ or ‘Movies’ or ‘Religious or Devotional’ or ‘General Entertainment’. 

The MSO carrying a channel on its network has been mandated to place that channel in the genre so declared by the broadcaster of that channel. The MSO is required to ensure that all the channels falling in a particular genre appear in its network’s EPG under that genre. With this, the subscriber will be able to see the list of channels that are available genre-wise and thus making the services more consumer-friendly.


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