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TRAI rejects higher cable TV fee for restaurants, hotels


Charges for restaurants & hotels will be at domestic rate, except for special or ticketed events where the public is charged separately.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has ruled that cable TV charges for hotels and restaurants (except for special or ticketed events like a football or cricket world cup where the public is charged separately) should be on a par with domestic charges. The channels and broadcasters had been demanding commercial rates.

“The telecom regulator’s order has liberated cable TV from monopoly. It has been declared a necessity for the benefit of people and not a luxury,” said Bharat Malkani, president, Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI).

“The channels and broadcasters wanted commercial establishments to pay additional charges than what was paid by domestic subscribers. The regulator has maintained that except in case of commercial exploitation of TV footage by these establishments such commercial charges cannot be applied,” he added.

Delhi-based Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) submitted that in 2006, the Supreme Court had held that television is a mere amenity in hotel rooms just like fans and air-conditioners.

The FHRAI also stated that channels do not subsidize ordinary subscribers like it happens in electricity or water to demand higher tariff for commercial subscribers. “Tourism departments have mandated that TV has to be there as it is a necessity and not a luxury like it used to be a decade ago,” said Pradip Shetty, FHRAI’s legal adviser.

Source: Times of India

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