Star India has for the sixth time this year this January extended the existing subscription license agreements for a period for another 30 days with the NTO 2.0 challenge in Bombay High Court remaining idle. Star India’s existing subscription license agreements with distribution platform operators which were to expire on 30th June or is expiring by efflux of time on July 30, 2020 has been further extended ending on 31st July, 2020.
Star has extended the license subscription agreements as an interim measure by way of extensions, on terms and condition detailed therein.
Star in its letter stated, “This is to inform all distributor of television channels (“DPOs), whose subscription license agreement executed with Star India Private Limited and/or Disney Broadcasting India Limited has expired on June 30, 2020 or is expiring by efflux of time on July 30, 2020 (and have not signed the subscription license agreement version 3 dated 01.01.2020), is further extended for a period ending on July 31, 2020 as an interim measure by way of extension letters, on terms and condition detailed therein. Copies of the said letters have been sent through email.”
Back in January, Star, Zee, TV18, Sony Pictures Network India had declared new Reference Interconnect Offer in response to the regulator’s move to amend the New Tariff Order with Tariff Amendment Order 2020. The new RIOs had considerable amount of price hike, and revamp to existing bouquet offerings with many new bouquets and old ones discarded.
However, with NTO 2.0 challenged in Bombay HC and DTH operators implementing NTO 2.0, broadcasters are unable to implement the new RIOs. A note on SPNI website states that the existing bouquets are only for those DPOs who have a subsisting Reference Interconnect Offer with new agreements solely on the basis of the new RIO notified in January 2020.
The note on SPNI website reads, “These bouquet composition and pricing of our channels are available only to an operator having a subsisting Reference Interconnect Offer (RIO) and the same shall be valid only till the tenure of the said RIO, subject to the outcome of the Writ Petition No. 118 of 2020 titled Sony Pictures Networks India Private Limited Vs Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) filed before the Honourable Bombay High Court (“Writ Petition”) or any further challenges arising therefrom. For any new operator requesting for signals of our channels, the same will be made available to them only upon execution of the new reference interconnect offer (which is uploaded on our website) subject to the outcome of the aforesaid Writ Petition or any further challenges arising therefrom.”