They have argued that they already pay licence fee, therefore, there is no need to levy additional registration fees on platform services.
Currently, DPOs operate certain kind of programming services which are specific to each platform and are not obtained from broadcasters. All these platform-specific services being offered by DPOs but not obtained from broadcasters are referred to as Platform Services (PS).
According to Dish TV’s submission, the validity of the registration of the Platform Services for DTH operators should be linked with the validity of the platform licence. It further stated that there should not be any fee imposed on the DTH operators in respect of the Platform Services.
It added that among distribution platform operators (DPOs) only DTH operators are required to pay an entry fee, license fee and also furnish bank guarantee.
Dish TV said: “Accordingly, there should not be any requirement of any additional payment by the DTH operators on account of Platform Services. The requirement for payment annual fee can be imposed on the cable platforms who are not required to pay any kind of entry or license fee to the government.”
Bharti Telemedia too said that the TRAI should do away with the condition of prescribing any charges for a PS channel. Tata Sky noted that apart from licence fee, DTH operators are also paying a substantial entry fee, which other competing platforms are not paying.
Tata Sky submitted that the ministry of information and broadcasting (MIB) is not incurring any incremental administrative cost. The DTH Operators are already paying Licence Fee on their earnings from Platform Services, it added.
It said: “Therefore, we suggest that TRAI should not recommend that MIB may charge additional money for registering Platform Services. There should not be any Registration Fee and/or Annual Fee for Platform Services.”
They urged TRAI to make recommendations that are equally applicable to all DPOs instead of just regulating the Platform Services of the DTH Operators.