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Nepali television viewers to pay only for channels they watch

The Ministry of Communication and Information Technology announce a shift to an “à la carte” model for cable television. This new model allows Nepali viewers to pay solely for the channels they choose to watch.

Netra Prasad Subedi, the spokesperson for the Ministry, confirmed that this option would be implemented for the first time in Nepal, bringing it in line with similar systems in India, the United States, and Canada. Subedi noted, “This will benefit customers as they pay for only the TV channels they like.”

Previously, consumers were burdened with packages that included a wide array of channels, many of which they never watched. Under the new guidelines, the minimum monthly fee for cable television will be Rs250 per customer. Subedi added, “Cable operators have to submit a proposal of fees to the ministry by remaining within the rate fixed by the government.”

The Ministry has taken a meticulous approach in determining the pricing, setting maximum rates for various channels after negotiations with cable TV operators. According to Sudhir Parajuli, president of the Federation of Nepal Cable Television Associations, the new model will be implemented within a month.

The shift comes amid concerns over the existing pricing strategies, which were deemed “unscientific” by industry representatives. Currently, cable operators in Nepal charge their customers between Rs400 and Rs500 per month. The Federation reported that Nepal has eight cable TV operators, including internet TV providers, broadcasting around 110 Nepali and 98 foreign channels to approximately 1.5 million viewers.