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There have been a handful of DTH providers, namely Tata Sky and Sun Direct which have removed Network Capacity Fess (NCF) for select channels which they are shipping. While Tata Sky has applied the offer to select FTA channels, Sun Direct has made all of its FTA channels NCF free. On similar lines, Dish TV has also introduced the same offer wherein its subscribers will be able to watch as much as 189 FTA channels without paying any FTA in the same Rs 130 NCF charge. However, it is worth noting that the new move of doing away with NCF is only applicable to the FTA channels and it doesn’t change the pricing for the pay SD or HD channels.

Dish TV Follows on Footsteps of Sun Direct, Offers Unlimited FTA Channels in Base Pack of Rs 130

Dish TV Follows on Footsteps of Sun Direct, Offers Unlimited FTA Channels in Base Pack of Rs 130
Dish TV Follows on Footsteps of Sun Direct, Offers Unlimited FTA Channels in Base Pack of Rs 130
1. Subscribers of Dish TV will still have to pay Rs 130 base pack fee for 100 channels
2. Dish TV also offers add-on packs starting at Rs 6 for SD channels and Rs 19 for HD channels

FTA Channels in Regional Languages and Genres

With the new Dish TV update, subscribers will be able to choose from a variety of channels from all the FTA choices available. Notably, to access these FTA channels subscribers would not have to pay the NCF for these channels thus saving them a lot of money which they would have otherwise spent while subscribing to these channels. For the ease of the consumers, Dish TV has also classified its FTA channels into various categories which include BST North with 189 channels, BST Hindi with 99 channels, BST Marathi and Gujarati with 84 channels, BST Bangla Odia with 83 channels, and BST DD Pack with 25 channels.

The catch with the new Dish TV order is that subscribers will still be paying for the 100 channels with the Rs 130 NCF charge as dictated by the Trai. The NCF of Rs 130 (exclusive of all taxes) will get the subscribers 100 FTA SD channels or 50 HD channels, as per the mandate, subscribers will have to pay Rs 20 to get additional 25 channels on their subscription. Now the new move by Dish TV makes it possible for the subscribers to get all the FTA channels in the same Rs 130 fee and they won’t have to pay any additional slab fee to watch these channels. Things, however, change when you add pay channels to your cart.

All FTA Channels Available in Rs 130

When a subscriber adds pay channel to his or her car, then they will not only have to pay the NCF for that particular channel but also the content charge of that channel as well. Before this new introduction, Dish TV was charging more NCF from the subscribers who were watching more than 100 channels which brings to light another point about the latest move by Dish TV; that it will be beneficial for the customers who are subscribing to more than 100 channels only. Other subscribers who have less than 100 channels in their cart will not see any change in pricing.

Dish TV subscribers should also be aware that after the introduction of the new Trai mandate, Dish TV has introduced many SD and HD add-on packs which have been divided based on genres and regional languages. The SD add-on packs of Dish TV start at Rs 6 while the HD add-on packs start at Rs 19.

The new direction regarding the prices in the TV industry passed by Trai last year took the DTH industry by storm. All the DTH and cable service providers were rushing to migrate their subscribers to the new packs and prices. However, to the relief of the users, Trai extended the deadline for the implementation thus providing them more time to make the switch. This migration process also revealed a lot of loopholes in the system and the subscribers got a chance to do a reality check about their DTH service providers. While some subscribers complained about channels being missing, others were troubled by crashing websites. It is pretty evident that a lot of subscribers might also change their service provider in the same period. In case you are in a similar situation and wondering what each of the DTH providers is offering, here is our quick take.

Best DTH Provider After New Trai Mandate: Tata Sky, Airtel Digital TV, D2h or Sun Direct?

Best DTH Provider After New Trai Mandate: Tata Sky, Airtel Digital TV, D2h or Sun Direct?
Best DTH Provider After New Trai Mandate: Tata Sky, Airtel Digital TV, D2h or Sun Direct?
1. D2h raced ahead of other providers in the migration process, but its consumers are still facing a lot of issues
2. Sun Direct, Tata Sky and Dish TV did away with additional slab NCF charges to attract more customers.

Tata Sky

Tata Sky is easily one of the biggest DTH service provider in the country. After the Trai mandate though, the operator was slow to list the new channel packs and pricing. However, it is safe to say that Tata Sky has done a commendable job of introducing a smooth migration process for the subscribers. After the mandate, Tata Sky has launched tons of HD and SD packs for the subscribers in regional languages as well. There are also Mini-packs in the portfolio and combined with the straightforward app and website based migration process Tata Sky has managed to stay on top of the preference list of a lot of subscribers. The operator also remains ahead of other operators by boasting as many as 65 exclusive channels.


Notably, D2h was the first operator to respond after the Trai mandate came out back in October. The operator was also quick to start the migration process ahead of others and hoped for subscriber addition to its existing base in the interim. Later the operator introduced many combo plans and topped them up with add-on packs in SD and HD and many packs in regional languages as well. Recently, D2h has also put out information about additional connections as well, noting that subscribers can avail them by only paying Rs 50 as flat NCF.

However, D2h subscribers have faced and are still facing a lot of issues related to various channels. In fact, most of the consumers are still not able to reach the company’s toll-free number for clarifying their doubts.

Dish TV is also offering similar combo packs to the consumers since it’s the one who operates D2h.

Airtel Digital TV

Bharti Airtel’s DTH wing also boasts of an impressive subscriber base of more than 15 million in the country. The operator, after the Trai mandate, introduced many channel packs for its subscribers. To ease up the process in a better way, Airtel Digital TV also made it possible for the subscribers to select their new channels via the Set-Top Box only. The operator also launched lots of regional channel packs, but as of late Trai has put Airtel Digital TV in crosshair after some subscribers of Airtel Digital lodged their grievance about missing channels and black screens although the problem was quickly resolved soon after.

Sun Direct

Sun Direct is a prominent DTH provider in the south, and it is safe to say that although the provider does not boast of a widespread network in the North, it has established a solid stronghold in South India. Further, the move of completely doing away with additional slab NCF charges made Sun Direct an attractive choice for a lot of subscribers. Following in the lines of other DTH providers, Sun Direct has launched new channel packs, regional channel and add-on packs in HD, SD.


After weeks of noticing the happenings in the DTH industry, we have noted that in terms of the number of channels and number of channel packs, ease of migration and customer service Tata Sky is the DTH provider which has managed to satisfy the subscribers to a large extent. The provider had also launched a similar offer as Sun Direct by doing away with NCF on select channels. With that being said, it is also worth noting that as the days pass DTH providers are easing into the migration process, and the move to the new Trai plans along with the customer service can be expected to improve for all DTH companies in the coming weeks. Do let us know what you experienced with your DTH provider in the comments section below.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) had introduced the new pricing mandate for channels, broadcasters and cable operators thus bringing in a massive change in pricing back in 2017. The pricing scheme based on the new tariff regime went effective on December 29 in 2018 and to allow a smooth transition of subscribers to the new tariff regime the DTH providers were given till February 1, after which the new channel pricing has gone effective. However, even with the new pricing regime, there were some areas which the Trai had missed to address, and one such problem was of multiple connections in a single home or location. It wasn’t made clear by the regulator what the subscribers would have to pay if they were to have multiple connections from the same DTH providers, but in the latest press issue, the regulator has finally resolved the confusion.
Trai Confirms NCF Charges Waive Off for DTH Subscribers With Multiple Connections
Trai Confirms NCF Charges Waive Off for DTH Subscribers With Multiple Connections
Trai Confirms NCF Charges Waive Off for DTH Subscribers With Multiple Connections
1. Trai has urged the DTH operators to keep uniform pricing for multiple connections
2. The same should be informed to the subscribers through their websites, urges Trai

Relief for Subscribers With Multiple Connections
Clarifying the issue of multiple connections, Trai said that it has capped the Network Capacity Fee for 100 channels at Rs 130 SD channels, above that the subscribers will have to pay Rs 20 for 25 additional channels. Trai said that in some areas DTH subscribers are waving off the entire NCF fee for a second connection in the same home or location, but the regulator said that this should be uniform for subscribers across the target market and also directed that the information should be declared duly on the DPOs website. The DPOs might even decide to offer a discounted or lesser NCF on an additional connection, but the same should be conveyed to the subscribers transparently.

More Flexibility for Subscribers to Choose Channels
This announcement is not the only highlight of the new Trai tariff regime. In essence, the new mandate makes it very easy for the subscribers to pay only for what they watch. Now the consumers will be able to choose the channels they want to subscribe to, and they will just pay for those specific channels. Previously the practice of shipping additional channels by the broadcasters which used to fetch them more revenue has thus come to an end. Subscribers will now enjoy the right to choose from Free to air (FTA) or pay channels, and then they will have to pay the network charges along with it as part of their total amount.

To make the process smoother for the end consumer, Trai is also directing the DTH providers and operators to set up call centres and dedicated helplines so that the subscribers face absolutely no disruption in services or inconvenience. The new tariff mandate also makes it very easy for the subscribers to change their channel selection at any given point in time.

The popular Direct-to-the-Home service provider, Tata Sky, has now introduced a slew of HD Add On/Mini Packs at a starting price of just Rs 5. This move from Tata Sky comes after the introduction of Tata Sky Regional packs which starts at Rs 7 per month. Coming to the newly introduced Tata Sky Add-Ons, there are a total of 21 packs comprising of both HD and SD channels. That said, the subscription for HD Add On pack differs compared to that of the SD pack. For example, Tata Sky has a Cricket Hindi HD pack priced at Rs 42 and a standard Cricket Hindi pack which also costs Rs 42 per month. So before activating any of these Add On packs from Tata Sky, compare the prices between the HD and SD packs as some broadcasters are charging the same price for their HD and SD channels. Notably, Tata Sky is also calling these Add On packs as Tata Sky Mini packs.

Tata Sky Now Comes Up With HD Add On Packs Across Various Categories, Prices Starting at Rs 5

Tata Sky Now Comes Up With HD Add On Packs Across Various Categories, Prices Starting at Rs 5
Tata Sky Now Comes Up With HD Add On Packs Across Various Categories, Prices Starting at Rs 5

Tata Sky HD Add On Packs Launched: What Do They Offer?

Out of the 21 Add On packs launched by Tata Sky, nine of them are HD packs, while the remaining packs offer SD channels. The HD Add On/Mini packs introduced by Tata Sky are Cricket Hindi HD (Rs 42), Cricket English HD (Rs 44), Music HD (Rs 11), Knowledge and Lifestyle Mini HD (Rs 53), Knowledge and Lifestyle HD (Rs 83), English Entertainment HD (Rs 87), English Movies Mini HD (Rs 76), Kids Mini HD (Rs 45) and Kids HD (Rs 53). The prices mentioned above are for a month and they’re inclusive of taxes.
Tata Sky Now Comes Up With HD Add On Packs Across Various Categories, Prices Starting at Rs 5
Tata Sky Now Comes Up With HD Add On Packs Across Various Categories, Prices Starting at Rs 5
Moving onto the SD Add On plans introduced by Tata Sky, they include Hindi News (Rs 5), Cricket Hindi (Rs 42), Cricket English (Rs 44), Music (Rs 7), Knowledge & Lifestyle Mini (Rs 21), Knowledge & Lifestyle (Rs 34), English News (Rs 23), English Entertainment (Rs 49), English Movies Mini (Rs 55), English Movies (Rs 82), Kids Mini (Rs 28) and Kids (Rs 35). The entire Add On packs can be viewed from Tata Sky’s website.

Tata Sky Already Announced Regional Channel Packs

To recall, a couple of days ago, Tata Sky introduced a plethora of Regional Channel packs at a starting price of just Rs 7. Tata Sky unveiled 14 regional packs across various languages- Gujarati, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Bengali, Odia and Marathi. These regional packs from Tata Sky can be availed on top of the Basic FTA pack of Rs 153. For the unaware, to avail any broadcaster channels, users will have to pay Rs 153 per month as FTA charges, according to the new pricing scheme introduced by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.

In other news, Tata Sky has already started activating the new packs selected by users based on the new Trai pricing scheme. Some Tata Sky users are complaining regarding the issues they’re facing while migration. The Telecom Regulatory already issued a showcause notice to Airtel Digital TV as the DTH service provider is not following the Trai’s rule of the smooth migration.

Following implementation of new regulations imposed on DTH service providers and cable operators by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), you can now reduce your monthly TV bill by limiting your subscription to only those TV channels you watch. Consumers have been given time till the end of this month to make a choice for uninterrupted service after January. In the new regulations, any DTH provider like Airtel DTH TV, Tata Sky or Dish TV can charge a maximum of only Rs 130, excluding GST, for a set of 100 non-HD channels.
  • The base pack can include 100 SD channels (
  • First 100 channels will cost Rs. 130 plus taxes
  • The last date to migrate to the new system is January 31 (
If you opt for any pay channel in that list of 100, you have to pay extra, according to the MRP of that individual channel. After a TRAI order, all broadcasters like Sony, Zee, Star, Discovery, Sun, Turner and, Viacom have declared which of their TV channels are free-to-air (FTA) and which ones are pay channels. (

10 Things to know about Selecting new DTH Plans - Reduce your TV bill on Airtel DTH, Tata Sky, Dish TV

10 Things to know about Selecting new DTH Plans - Reduce your TV bill on Airtel DTH, Tata Sky, Dish TV
10 Things to know about Selecting new DTH Plans - Reduce your TV bill on Airtel DTH, Tata Sky, Dish TV

TRAI: Pay Rs 130 And Watch 100 Pay and FTA Channels

The first most important clarification regarding the new Cable TV Regulation is that, Rs 130 plus GST is the minimum fees, which every cable or DTH consumer needs to pay. (

With 18% GST, this amount comes to Rs 154, which is called ‘Network Connect Fees’, and has to be paid to the respective cable or DTH operator. (

Now, after paying Rs 154 as Network Connect Fees, the consumer will be eligible to access 100 channels.

These 100 channels can be FTA or Free to Air and/or Pay Channels. In case the consumer wishes to watch more than 100 channels, then Rs 20 per 25 channels has to be paid. Once these 25 extra channels are allocated, then again, the user can choose FTA or Pay channels.

10 things to know about selecting new plans on Airtel DTH, Dish TV, Hathway and others (

1. Besides a la carte rates, all major broadcasters have also declared various bouquets based on genre and language. The prices declared by individual broadcasters are the maximum retail price and your TV service provider can offer you a deal below the MRP. Even the price of the base packs can be lower than Rs 130. (

2. On its website, Airtel DTH TV shows a base pack of Rs 99 with a host of SD (standard definition) channels. Tata Sky’s lowest base pack, too, begins from Rs 99. However, both the operators have a list of select SD TV channels as part of the pack. As the new TRAI rules come into force, these base packs will also undergo a change as you will have the liberty to put any SD channel of your choice in the base pack. Any pay channel you include in the list gets added to your bill.

3. In the new regulations, any subscriber wanting to watch more than 100 channels can choose additional channels in each slab of 25 channels with at a maximum price of Rs 20 per slab. According to TRAI, consumers opting for more than 100 channels are rare and form only 10-15% of the market. About 80% subscribers, according to the viewing pattern from BARC, do not even flip more than 40 channels. (

4. “If a consumer carefully chooses channels of choice for the complete requirement of a family, the amount payable may be even less than the present payments being made per month,” TRAI says on its website. (

5. As reported to TRAI, there are as many as 330 pay TV channels, including HD and SD, from 40 broadcasters. The list of private FTA channels goes up to 535. (

6. Among the 40 broadcasters, at least 17 have announced bouquets of several channels with discounted pricing. For example, a bouquet of 9 channels will cost Rs 63 if taken a la carte basis but if bought together, the price reduces by almost half to Rs 31.

7. FTA channels can’t be clubbed with pay channels in a bouquet. Further, HD channels can’t be clubbed with the SD version of the same channel, so that the consumer has complete clarity with respect to what is on offer. (

8. You also have the freedom to buy a set-top box from the market and not from the service provider. However, that set-top box will have to be technically compliant with the system of the operator. (

9. TRAI has instructed that there shall be no blackout of services till January 31 but after that, you may be pushed to the basic pack, which has no pay channels. To avoid disruption in services, you have to migrate to the new plan by the end of the month. (

10. Every cable operator or DTH player has been asked to run a consumer information channel preferably on channel No. 999 wherein consumer-related information including the prices of channels shall be displayed.

Finally, the list of all FTA or Free-To-Air channels is out, as shared by the broadcasters with TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India).

This list of FTA channels, which are free to air, and can be accessed by anyone having any dish is crucial, as users only need to pay Rs 130 plus GST to access them.

Besides, users of DD Free Dish can access these FTA channels as well, after paying Rs 130 plus GST.

TRAI New Cable TV Rules: How FTA Channels Will Work

Under TRAI’s new rules, a user of cable or DTH is eligible to access 100 FTA or Free to Air channels, under the base pack, wherein Rs 130 (plus GST) is charged as network connect fee.

Now, in case that customer has chosen only 60 FTA or Free to Air channels, then he or she can choose 40 more and complete the list. However, in case the user chooses pay channels, then extra amount needs to be paid, as determined by the broadcaster and the cable operator.

Complete List Of 230 + Free-To-Air (FTA) Channels Under The New Cable TV Rules

Complete List Of 230 + Free-To-Air (FTA) Channels Under The New Cable TV Rules
Complete List Of 230 + Free-To-Air (FTA) Channels Under The New Cable TV Rules
Adding extra channels would incur Rs 25 for a slab of 20 channels, as mentioned by TRAI.

Complete List Of FTA Channels

Hindi Channels

  • Dangal
  • DD India
  • DD MP
  • DD National
  • DD Rajasthan
  • DD Bharti
  • DD Kisan
  • Divyarashi
  • Gemporia Direct
  • B4U Movies
  • Cinema TV
  • Enter 10
  • Maha Movies
  • Skystar Movies
  • Wow Cinema
  • 9X Jalwa
  • B4U Music
  • Mastii
  • Music India
  • Songdew
  • ABP News
  • DD News
  • India News
  • India TV
  • JK 24 *7
  • Loksabha TV
  • News Nation
  • Rajya Sabha
  • Sudarshan News
  • Total TV
  • Aastha
  • Aastha Bhajan
  • Arihant
  • Disha TV
  • Divya TV
  • Ishwar TV
  • Jinvani
  • Mahavira TV
  • Paras Gold
  • Mahavira TV
  • Paras Gold
  • Sanskar
  • Satsang TV
  • Homeshop 18
  • Nt 1
  • ShopCJ
  • DD Sports

Bengali Channels

  • Aakaash Aath
  • DD Bangla
  • Ruposhi Bangla
  • Dhoom Music
  • Music Faatafaati
  • Sangeet Bangla
  • Bangla Times
  • Kolkata TV
  • News Time

Malayalam Channels

  • Amrita TV
  • DD Malayalam
  • Flowers
  • Jai Hind
  • Janam TV
  • Jeevan TV
  • Kairali
  • Kappa TV
  • Kaumudi TV
  • Mazhavil Manorma
  • Mazhavil Manorma HD
  • Media One
  • We
  • Safari TV
  • Asianet News
  • Raj Musix Malayalam
  • Mangalam
  • Manorama News
  • Matrubhumi
  • People
  • Reporter
  • Raj News Malayalam
  • Darshana
  • Harvest TV
  • Power Vision TV
  • Shalom
  • Nt 3

Marathi Channels

  • DD Sahyadri
  • Maiboli
  • Fakt Marathi
  • 9X Jhakkas
  • Sangeet Marathi
  • Jai Maharashtra
  • Saam TV
  • TV9 Marathi

Kannada Channels

  • DD Chandana
  • Kasturi
  • Ayush TV
  • Saral Jeevan
  • Public Movies
  • Public Music
  • BTV News
  • Dighvijay 24 * 7 News
  • News 9
  • Public TV
  • Raj News Kannada
  • Suvarna 24 * 7 News
  • TV1 News
  • TV5 Kannada
  • TV9 Karnataka
  • Sri Sankara
  • Naaptol Kannada

Odiya Channels

  • DD Odia
  • Kalinga News
  • Kanak News
  • MBC TV
  • OTV
  • Prameya News 7

English Channels

  • 9XO
  • Al Jazeera
  • India Ahead
  • Republic TV
  • Russia TV
  • God TV
  • Goodness TV
  • Peace of Mind

Tamil Channels

  • MK Six
  • Captain TV
  • DD Podhigai
  • Imayam TV
  • Kalaignar TV
  • Malai Murasu
  • MK TV
  • Murasu
  • Peppers TV
  • Polimer TV
  • Puthu Yugam
  • Siripoli
  • Super TV
  • Thanthi TV
  • Vasanth TV
  • Vendhar TV
  • 7S Music
  • Isaiyaruvi
  • MK Tunes
  • Sahana TV
  • Captain News
  • Cauveri News
  • Kailinger Saithi
  • Lotus News
  • Makkal TV
  • News 7
  • Polimer News
  • Puthiya Thalainga
  • Sathiyam
  • Tamilan TV
  • Velichan TV
  • Angel TV
  • Madha
  • Nambikkai
  • Sai TV
  • SVBC 2
  • Win TV
  • Naaptol Tamil

Punjabi Channels

  • DD Punjabi
  • PTC Punjabi
  • Pitaara TV
  • MH1 Music
  • PTC Chakde
  • Chardikala Time
  • PTC News
  • MH1 Shraddha

Urdu Channels

  • DD Urbu
  • DD Kashir
  • Gulistan News
  • Channel Win

Gujarati Channels

  • DD Girnar
  • ABP Asmita
  • GS TV
  • Sandesh News
  • TV9 Gujarati
  • V TV

Asamese Channels

  • DD NorthEast
  • Jonack
  • Nepal One
  • Rang
  • Rengoni
  • Ramdhenu
  • Assam Talks 24
  • DY 356
  • NewsLive
  • Prag
  • Protidin Times
  • Bhojpuri
  • Anjaan TV
  • Dabang
  • DD Bihar
  • Bjojpuri Cinema
  • Shaandaar
  • Sangeet Bhojpuri

Telugu Channels

  • DD Saptagiri
  • DD Yadagiri
  • Studio One+
  • Vanitha TV
  • Raj Musix Telugu
  • 10 TV
  • 99 TV
  • ABN Andhra Jyoti
  • AP 24 *7
  • CVR English
  • CVR News
  • CVR Health
  • Hm TV
  • Mahaa News
  • Mojo TV
  • NTV News
  • Raj News Telugu
  • Sakshi TV
  • Studio N
  • T News
  • TV1
  • TV5 Telugu News
  • TV9 Telugu News
  • V6 News
  • Aradhana
  • Bhakti TV
  • CVR Spiritual
  • Divyavaani TV
  • Hindu Dharman
  • Rajumargan TV
  • Subhavaartha TV
  • SVBC
  • Naaptol Telugu
Here is the list of all FTA channels, along with Pay channels, as shared by TRAI on their website.

Satish Kumar

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