Free to Air (FTA) broadcaster Swami Films Entertainment Pvt Ltd on Friday moved the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) against Prasar Bharati for interim relief against disconnection of the channel from its DTH platform.
The broadcaster’s case was heard today by the Tribunal through video conferencing in respect of the interim relief sought by it. Prasar Bharati on top of its earlier stand, offered two more alternatives to the broadcaster. The tribunal noted that it was a fair stand with more alternatives being offered to the broadcaster.
Swami Films requested for some more time to consider the alternative reliefs as a final solution and even as an interim arrangement. TDSAT noted that there was no need to pass an interim order till the next date of hearing. Posting the matter for further hearing next week, TDSAT noted that the prayer for interim relief could be considered on the next hearing, directing both parties to communicate their stand through Email or any other communication.
Notably, Ajit A. Joshi, Director, SwamiFilm Entertainment Pvt. Ltd and SuperHit Broadcasting Pvt. Ltd., which owns and runs Movie Plus and Satya channel was part of the signatories who had written to the government asking for waiving of the carriage fee for a quarter owed by them to DD Free Dish due to the coronavirus pandemic. Advertisement revenues have fallen manifolds for these broadcasters with 70-80% advertisements pulled back.
DD Free Dish had however only offered them a deferred payment schedule instead of a waiver for 3 months of carriage fee, with a provision for furnishing a bank guarantee of equivalent amount. The said relief came with interest levied at 5.7% per annum and GST on the interest amount.