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Indian tribunal reserves order on TV tariff fixing
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A week long tribunal hearing into complaints about regulatory tariff fixing from major broadcasters in India has ended in the bench reserving its order.

The legal petitions from Zee Turner, Star Den Media Services, ESPN, Sun TV, Viacom 18, and MSM Discovery are in opposition a decree by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) for broadcasters to make their channels available to direct-to-home (DTH) and addressable digital cable networks (including IPTV) at 35% of the corresponding rates for analogue cable operators.

According to local media reports, The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT), chaired by Justice SB Sinha, heard how prior to this order, issued by TRAI on 21 July, was preceded by one which fixed the tariff for DTH at 50% of the analogue cable price.

Complaints were also raised at the hearing that there was a fixed tariff set for DTH without a fixed tariff for those with non-conditional access systems (CAS).

TRAI counsel said, however, that the tariff order was aimed at encouraging the switch over to addressability.

Two multiple system operators (MSOs) - IndusInd Media & Communications and Digicable – were also party to the tribunal hearing in support of TRAI’s tariff order, which is set to become effective on 1 October.

According to a report by Digital Edge, counsel on behalf of IndusInd said that while the MSOs supported addressability, non CAS operators cannot be treated on a par with DTH or addressability. Therefore the broadcast rates had to be different.

Initially TRAI intended the new tariff structure would be in force from 1 September; however the earlier Supreme Court hearing on the matter resulted in a month’s delay.

Source: Rapidtvnews

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