The Ministry of Communication and Internet Technology (MoCIT) in Nepal has recently announced a new system for TV services in the country. The new system is known as the à la carte system and it aims to make the TV subscription process more transparent and organized for the customers. The à la carte system means that the customers can select individual TV channels that they want in their subscription instead of the whole package in a bundle. This will give the customers the freedom to choose only the TV channels they want to watch, without being forced to pay for the whole package.
As per the ruling, the minimum cost for a basic TV package in Nepal is fixed at Rs 250. The government believes that this act will make their licensed broadcasters such as cable, DTH, IPTV, MMDS, and DTTB transactions transparent, organized, and scientific. The ministerial-level decision has fixed the cost of the basic package. Broadcasters must provide Nepali TV channels and international free-to-air channels to their customers. However, for paid TV channels, service providers will need to charge customers per bouquet. The maximum cost per TV channel is fixed at Rs 40, and the maximum charge from paid TV channels should not exceed Rs 250 a month. In total, a broadcaster can charge a customer not more than Rs 500 a month for the basic package.
The decision for the à la carte system will give customers the right to choose which TV channels they want to subscribe to. Customers cannot be forced to buy paid TV channels against their will. The bouquet system has been arranged for payment from paid TV channels, where the Rs 10 charge of a paid TV channel takes 13 percent VAT, which deducts Rs 1.30 from the total and becomes Rs 8.70. The amount (Rs 4.35) goes to the TV service provider, and the company collects half of it.
The amount received by paid TV is Rs 4.35, which becomes Rs 3.6975 after a 15 % TDS deduction of Rs 0.6525, and the ministry has made arrangements to recommend foreign currency equivalent only. Gaurab Giri, Joint Secretary of MoCIT, believes that customers won't be overpaying for confusing and random packages. He said that TV service providers can receive only Rs 250 for the basic package, and Rs 40 should not exceed the paid bouquet TV channel. Even if a customer wants to buy all the TV channels and if it exceeds Rs 500, the provider must offer it at the same cost.
Nepal is dominated by DTH, IPTV, and cable TV, and internet service providers (ISPs) also bundle TV in their packages, which has now been outlawed. The à la carte system might make subscriptions more transparent and straightforward. It is a significant decision by the government, and it will benefit the customers by providing them with more flexibility and freedom to choose the TV channels they want to watch. The new system will bring transparency and clarity in the TV subscription process, and customers can now make informed decisions about the TV channels they want to subscribe to. Overall, it is a positive step towards improving the TV subscription process in Nepal.