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Tdsat denies Dish TV interim relief on interconnect tariff

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NEW DELHI: The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (Tdsat) today refused interim relief to DTH operator Dish TV, which had requested for direction to sports broadcaster ESPN to raise bills in accordance with the reference interconnect offer (RIO) of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai).

The Tdsat bench comprising Chairman Justice S B Sinha and member P K Rastogi said, however, that the matter to make ESPN sign an agreement with it on the basis of tariff recommended in RIO would be heard expeditiously. The respondents are to file a reply by 14 October and matter will come up for directions on 1 November.

The tribunal also said that regarding the other dispute over renewal of their agreement, Dish TV and ESPN may approach the Supreme Court – particularly since Dish TV had submitted that according to the recent Supreme Court order, ESPN should enter into an agreement based on the new prices of channel. However, ESPN submitted that the apex court order did not apply to existing agreements.

Passing an order on 18 April, the apex court had said that broadcasters charge from DTH operators only up to 35 per cent of rates paid by cable operators for their channels. RIO specifies commercial terms for DTH operators to get signals from broadcasters, as per norms laid down by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.

Dish TV and ESPN had entered into an agreement for three channels - ESPN, Star Sports and Star Cricket - in 12 March 2009, but it was not based on RIO.

According to Dish TV, ESPN refused to sign a new agreement to provide signals on the basis of RIO, and was attempting to force it to pay on the basis of earlier MoU.
Source:Indiantelevision
 
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