Bharti Telemedia’s DTH arm, Airtel Digital TV (ADTV), has recently announced its decision to increase the lock-in period of À-La-carte channels on its platform from 1 day to 30 days. The move comes after the implementation of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) New Tariff Order 3.0 (NTO 3.0) in the broadcasting industry in India. While this move is aimed at increasing the Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) in the short term, it has received wide criticism from its customers.
What is Lock-In Period?
Lock-in period is the time frame during which customers cannot remove channels added to their accounts. With the new policy, customers won’t be able to drop any added channel before waiting for 30 days. Additionally, the full 30 days amount will be deducted immediately after adding any channel, instead of the regular deduction based on the Daily Burn Rate (DBR).
ADTV’s decision has become a point of contention among its customers as it heavily restricts their freedom to pay only for channels they want to watch. Some customers have expressed their concern over the lack of flexibility in channel selection and management of the company.
Tata Sky, a major player in the DTH industry, has arguably the most flexible lock-in period policy. For all channels and services, prices are deducted based on DBR only, and it also allows customers to modify long-term packs if they change their minds. This flexibility in policy is appealing to customers who are looking for more control over their channel selection.
Impact on Customers
The move to increase the lock-in period to 30 days is seen by many as anti-customer, as it makes it difficult for customers to choose and manage their preferred channels according to their needs and preferences. This may lead to ADTV losing its subscribers to its competitors.
The traditional broadcast industry is facing a crisis with raising television subscription costs due to tariff orders and the increasing popularity of OTT platforms. It is essential for DTH operators to maintain flexibility and customer-friendly policies to empower their customers to choose their preferred channels and pay only for what they watch if they want to attract and retain their customers.
ADTV’s decision to increase the lock-in period of À-La-carte channels on its platform from 1 day to 30 days has raised concerns among its customers. The move has heavily restricted their freedom to pay only for channels they want to watch, and it may lead to ADTV losing its subscribers to its competitors. It is important for DTH operators to maintain flexibility and customer-friendly policies to attract and retain their customers.