Caps on charges flares anger in biz

India’s cable operators are protesting new caps on prices charged to viewers for their channels.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has set subs for pay channels at 5 rupees (10¢) each while fixing the price for the 22 free-to-air channels at $15.40 ahead of the rollout of the conditional access system in Mumbai, New Delhi and Kolkata on Jan. 1.

Charges currently range from $1 for ESPN-Star Sports to $13.47 for News Corp.’s Star bouquet of eight channels including the hugely popular Star Plus.

Channels must be offered a la carte, although bouquets will also be available.

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