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More broadcasters move TDSAT against TRAI new tariff regime
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Joining other broadcasters, Viacom 18 Media and Sun TV on Wednesday approached sectoral tribunal TDSAT, challenging TRAI's tariff order to cap wholesale price of channels for DTH and IPTV service providers at 35 per cent of the rates they charge cable operators.

Currently, the broadcasters charge DTH and IPTV player 50 per cent of what they charge cable operators.

In two separate appeals filed before Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT), Viacom 18 Media and Sun TV Network said that tariff suggested by the broadcast regulator was not commercially viable for them.

The broadcasters submitted that while fixing the tariff, TRAI has acted in arbitrary and unreasonable manner and did not consider the suggestions of the stakeholders.

Their appeals were clubbed with the petitions of four other leading broadcasters - ESPN Software India, MSM Discovery, Zee Turner and Star Den Media Services - which had approached TDSAT on August 23 challenging TRAI's direction.

All petitions would be jointly heard by the tribunal on September 14.

The TDSAT had directed the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to file its reply by September 6.

TRAI notified on July 21 that a new wholesale tariff structure would be effective from September 1, whereby broadcasters will charge only 35 per cent of the rates that they charge cable operators while supplying to service providers using different digital platforms such as DTH, IPTV and HITS.

Broadcasters offer cheaper rates to operators like DTH and IPTV as they can ascertain the number of subscribers of these players, which is not the case with cable services where under-reporting is believed to be very high.


On August 23, TRAI had informed TDSAT that the new tariff would be effectively operational from October 1, 2010, and not from September 1, as notified in the circular.

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