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Star Den moves HC for restoration of channel distribution
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Channel distributor Star Den Media has approached Delhi High Court requesting it to restore its distribution and marketing rights of Network 18 group channels. Star Den, a 50:50 joint venture between broadcast major Star India and DEN Networks, has requested the High Court to set aside the interim orders of the broadcast tribunal TDSAT, which restrained it from marketing the channels of Network 18 group from August 13.

Star Den''s matter was heard by a single member bench of Justice S Muralidhar, which after a brief hearing reserved his order. On August 5, the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal in an oral order had refused to stay the termination notice issued by Network 18.

The tribunal would now pass a formal written order in this regard on Monday. During the proceedings on Friday senior advocate S Ganesh appearing for Star Den submitted before the High Court that TDSAT should not pass such order without considering interest of industries and customers as a whole as it had very wide ramifications.

He further submitted that agreement between Star Den and Network 18 was within a legal frame work and it could be terminated in accordance with law only. It was opposed by Network 18 counsel, senior advocate A M Singhvi, who submitted that Star Den had no right over the channels and its signals.

Network 18, which owns CNN, IBN, IBN7, CNBC Awaaz and CNBC TV 18 has formed a joint venture with South-based broadcaster Sun TV, named Sun 18, to distribute its channels. However, Star Den Media had approached TDSAT seeking direction from Network18 for the continuation of the agreement and quashed the notice issued by it for the termination of the contract.

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