NCF (Network Capacity Fee) Charges- What, How & Charges

NCF (Network Capacity Fee) Charges- What, How & Charges

Starting from February 2020, NCF (Network Capacity Fee) became mandatory for DTH users and aimed at reducing their monthly bills. NCF charges are set by the regulator and everyone pays as per their channel purchasing plan.


Besides paying for the channels chosen under ala-carte or broadcaster bouquet, you’ll need to pay the base tariff that TRAI calls “network capacity fee” (NCF). You can read up on NCF charges applicable to TRAI’s new proposals below.

There are two NCF slabs, and the price will be higher for more channels of data, or if it’s a secondary connection. Have a look at the NCF below to find out more.

What Are NCF Charges In DTH?

Network Capacity Fee is basically the amount that customers are charged for the distribution of TV channels they subscribe to. It’s not included in the subscription fee of a pay channel, or a bundle of pay channels.

By subscribing to a DTH service such as Airtel Digital TV, you get 100 SD channels. Out of those 100, 25 are mandatory DD channels set by TRAI. NCF (NDTV Convergence Fee) is a charge levied by the DTH operator on the subscriber. The cost of NCF is calculated based on the number of channels you subscribe to.

For example, a set of 200 channels will be charged Rs 130 per month (excluding 18% GST) for a Basic HiTV subscription. If a subscriber wishes to add more than 200 channels, then the NCF charges Rs 160/month without 18% GST. These channels can include FTA-only and mixed broadcast networks.

How Do NCF Charges Work For DTH Providers?

For instance, someone has opted for a new DTH primary connection from Airtel. The minimum NCF charge they have to pay to Airtel is Rs 140 plus 15% GST, which comes to Rs 161 per month.

Free-to-air (FTA) channels are readily available on Doordarshan and a few other TVs. Customers are automatically assigned 100 to 150 free channels by default.

The customer will then add some premium qualifying channels to the DTH account, for which Airtel has two kinds of packages – Airtel Packs and Regional Packs. Adding qualifying channels to an existing base pack containing FTA Channels adds more to these pay channels, thereby increasing subscription.

For this, the customer will have to pay Rs 161+15% GST for network capacity, plus the cost of your paid channels.

A month later, the customer asks for HD channels to watch live shows. Now the total number of channels is 255+, which comes under the second slab. The customer is now charged Rs 184 (Rs 160 + 15% GST), which includes the cost of paid channels.

For orders below 250 units, the company will charge Rs 63 (Rs 65.36 including taxes). If you choose more than 250 channels, the operator will charge you Rs. 68 only (Rs. 75.52 including taxes).

Why To Pay NCF Charges?

To get channels from a DTH provider, you have to pay the NCF (minimum monthly cost) and additional channel subscriptions above that.

This is the minimum monthly cost for a DTH provider from which all channels come from. Additional channel subscriptions are charged in addition to this fee, and these additional subscriptions can be monthly or yearly subscriptions.

Different NCF Charges For Various DTH Providers!

All DTH providers such as Tata Sky, Dish TV, d2h, Airtel, and Sun Direct charge Network Capacity Fee according to the TRAI guidelines. Find the complete details of NCF charges derived from the DTH operators for the first as well as second connection below (Prices include taxes).

 First ConnectionSecond Connection
DTH ProvidersUp to 200 ChannelsAbove 200 ChannelsUp to 200 ChannelsAbove 200 Channels
Tata SkyRs 153.4Rs 188.8Rs 61.36Rs 75.52
Airtel DigitalRs 153.4Rs 188.8Rs 61.36Rs 75.52
Dish TVRs 153.4Rs 188.8Rs 61.36Rs 75.52
d2hRs 153.4Rs 188.8Rs 61.36Rs 75.52
Sun DirectRs 153.4Rs 188.8Rs 61.36Rs 75.52

Are The NCF Charges The Same For SD And HD Channels?

Whether you’re watching television on a standard or high-definition TV, you have the option to mix channels. When this is the case, the TRAI count is slightly different. For every SD channel, consider 1 HD channel as 2 SD channels.

Let’s take a scenario and go through the concept:

  • User 1 has opted for 150 SD channels and will be charged Rs 146.40.
  • User 2 opted for 200 SD channels and 50 HD channels, so the total NCF cost will be the same as Subscriber 1 (167.40).
  • User 3 has opted for 150 SD channels and 75 HD channels. They will be charged Rs 183.80 each month as per the NCF norms.

In A Nutshell

In this post, we hope to give you a better idea of how the network capacity fee will apply to a DTH plan. Whether or not you’re interested, you can check the list of FTA SD and HD channels shared by various DTH operators. DTH subscribers can also find the price of the Broadcaster Bouquet and individual channels online at Selectra.

Operators have introduced a new method of price discovery called “Broadcaster Bouquet” for their DTH subscribers. This lets you find the price of a particular Broadcaster Bouquet and individual channels online.


Frequently Asked Questions

How is my NCF Slab calculated?

Your National Cost Function (NCF) is calculated based on the sum of the National Cost Function (NCF) counts for subscribed channels, of which Standard Definition (SD) channels have an NCF count of 1 and High Definition (HD) channels have an NCF count of 2.

What is NCF & how is it charged?

This subscription contains two elements. The Network Capacity Fee (NCF) is a one-time fee to rent our capacity. We also offer pay channels with their own pricing structure.

Primary box: If a distributor wants to charge their subscribers for network capacity they need to pay an ‘Network Capacity Fee’ of Rs. 144 per month plus taxes (or Rs. 167.28 including taxes).

Distributors can charge Rs.188.80 (+ taxes) per month for more than 200 NCF’s, or Rs.160 (+ taxes) per month for less than 200 NCF’s and include HD channels as part of the subscription plan at 2x the number of SD channels.

How can I remove NCF charges in D2h?

To remove the default ‘basic package’, Dish TV or D2H customers need to click on the ‘Basic Service Tier’ link (see picture below) and then proceed to delete channels they don’t want.

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