As per the notice by the Department of Information and Broadcasting the à la carte TV package system is effective from Falgun 02 (February 14). Earlier, the Ministry of Communication and Internet Technology (MoCIT) tried to bring the à la carte system into practice after setting a minimum price for the basic TV package in Nepal. The price structure for individual and bouquets was approved on Bhadra 15 (September 01) after a ministerial-level proposal for the same on Bhadra 07 (August 24).
Despite the previous attempts to bring this pick-and-pay TV package system, operators were hesitant to comply and demanded more time. Furthermore, there were also some implications of foreign pay TV channels shutting down over the lack of consent for the A La Carte TV pricing model. However, with foreign broadcasters getting approval for their pay-TV prices, the beginning of a new and scientific payment model has rolled out in Nepal. Dr. Subodh Nepal, Director at DoIB says that the a la carte system will be mandatorily implemented from today (February 14, 2024). “We will continuously inspect and act strictly on those service providers who won’t adhere to the system,” he added. In the meantime, the government has determined 8 bouquet lists for TV channels and fixed the minimum price of Rs 250 for subscribers. Let’s get into the details.
The ministry approved the costs for individual and bouquet (a group of channels in a package) channels of Star India, Sony Pictures Networks India, Indiacast Media Distribution, Zee Entertainment Enterprise, Discovery Network Asia Pacific, etc.
What is an à la carte system?
An à la carte is a system for TV service subscribers that gives customers the ability to pick individual TV channels as they desire. It means customers will have the choice to pick the TV channels they want in their subscription instead of the whole package in a bundle. The obvious benefit is they pay for what they get. As of now, the DTH/ISP/TV, and other service providers are charging customers based on the whole bundle.
Star India TV channels become the most expensive in Nepal
As per the approved price structures, Star India Pvt. Ltd’s channels will now cost from Rs 2 to Rs 20. At the same time, the broadcaster has formed 4 bouquets- Star Entertainment Pack, Star Movie Pack, Star Sports Pack, and Star Premium Sports Pack. Each bouquet costs Rs 40. The company has received permission to broadcast on 32 different TV channels in Nepal. It will now cost Rs 160 to get all the Start India channels in Nepal, becoming the most expensive in the country.
Similarly, Sony Pictures Networks India can broadcast 21 channels in Nepal. The company has devised 3 different bouquets- Sony Basic, Sony Sports Premium, and Sony Sports each costing Rs 40. So, it will cost Rs 120 to get all the Sony channels in Nepal.
Indiacast Media’s 15 channels are coming in two bouquets- Colors Premium and Colors Basic each costing Rs 25. The company broadcasts popular channels such as Colors, MTV India, VH1, etc. Likewise, Zee Entertainment has started 2 bouquets for their 10 TV channels each costing Rs 25.
Discovery Network APAC has 14 channels coming in two bouquets each costing Rs 20. This segment includes channels like Discovery, TLC, Cartoon Network, CNN, etc. Likewise, Home Box Office Singapore which includes popular TV channel HBO and 4 others, comes for Rs 15 in one bouquet. But for individual channels, each HBO network channel costs Rs 7.
BBC Studio and Bennet Coleman & Company Limited have 1 and 2 TV channel offerings in Nepal respectively. The former only has one channel CBeebies which costs Rs 2 while the latter has two TV channels- Times Now and Zoom each costing Rs 2 but it comes for Rs 3 in a bouquet subscription.
TV Channel Costs in Nepal
Below, we have summarized the TV channel bouquets and their costs in Nepal.
|TV channel Bouquets
|Sony Pictures Networks India
|Discovery Network APAC
|Home Box Office Singapore
|Bennet Coleman & Company
Which way do you prefer? Individual channels or bouquets?
Currently, a total of 102 TV channels’ prices have been approved by MoCIT. To bring all these channels to your TV, it costs Rs 440 in bouquets per month for a subscriber. However, you can choose to buy individual channels of your choice which can bring down the total cost.
The catch though is that the government has paved the way for service providers to charge a minimum cost of Rs 250. That is, no matter how few channels you want, you will have to pay a minimum of Rs 250 for a basic TV package cost in Nepal. This includes pay TV and free-to-air channels.
|Minimum cost for a basic TV package
|Total cost with all the channel bouquets
|Rs 250 per month
But if paying around Rs 250 is still a friendly budget for you, you can choose the channels per your individual needs and interests. If you own an “SD TV,” then you can lower the costs by choosing SD channels as well. HD channels cost more than SD channels. The government has set the maximum cost of a bouquet to Rs 40 while an individual channel’s cost can’t exceed Rs 20. If you happen to choose all the channels for your TV, your per month cost will reach Rs 440. However, the good thing with the a la carte is that you can pick the bouquet channels and drive down the cost.
Basic TV package cost set at Rs 250 while all the channels in the bouquets will cost Rs 440.
Basic TV package price in Nepal
As stated above, the minimum cost for a basic TV package in Nepal is Rs 250. The government fixed the price of TV channels and bouquets in Nepal adhering to the National Broadcasting Act, 2049, and regulations, 2052. The A La Carte will enable licensed broadcasters such as cable, DTH, IPTV, MMDS, and DTTB’s operations and transactions transparent, organized, and scientific.
The communication ministry has fixed the cost of the basic package. As per this, broadcasters “must” provide Nepali TV channels and international free-to-air channels to their customers. As for paid TV channels, service providers will need to charge customers per bouquet. The maximum cost per TV channel stands at Rs 40. Also, the maximum charge from paid TV channels shouldn’t exceed Rs 250 a month.
The bouquet system helps operate the payment system systematically for pay TV channels. To elaborate, a 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 with each collecting 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.
FAQ | A La Carte TV system in Nepal
You are probably curious about what a la carte is for TV packages. So, here are the frequently asked questions FAQs that should cover all your queries.
The a la carte system came into implementation on Falgun 02 (February 14).
the a la carte system is the one that lets customers choose the TV channels they wish to watch instead of getting all their service provider provides.
As it stands, the basic TV package will be Rs 250 after the a la carte system comes into effect.
To enjoy all the TV channels, you will have to pay Rs 440 (as of the pricing for now).
Practically, you can only choose sports channels in Nepal for your TV subscription in the a la carte system.
There are 8 bouquets of TV channels in Nepal to choose from.
Tell us what you think of the cost of the basic TV package in Nepal and whether the minimum cost of Rs 250 is a downside to the idea of the A La Carte system in our comment section below. Also, do you think this model of TV package subscription will effectively come into effect this time? The comment section below welcomes your insights.
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