NEW DELHI: Kolkata police has registered a first information report (FIR) against two local cable operators (LCOs) Akash Darpan and Titli Cable Service, both linked to multi system operator Hathway Cable and Datacom’s network for illegally re-transmitting signals of Star Sports1 on unencrypted frequencies.
The FIR follows the raids conducted by the Kolkata police after a complaint was filed by Star on 22 July against ‘the deliberate illegal acts of Hathway.’
Acting on the complaint, the police raided the control rooms of the LCOs and found that the signals of Star Sports 1 were being retransmitted in unencrypted mode on LCN No. 872 meant for local channels. The police registered an FIR No. 649/14 dated 22 July 2014 against Hathway and the two LCOs under sections 120-B/409 IPC and 37/51/63/65/69 Copyright Act.
Star said in a press release that ‘in order to mislead and deceive it, Hathway has adopted an unlawful methodology whereby Hathway’s electronic programming guide (EPG) displays to the subscribers that the said TV channel is available on an a-la-carte basis. However, the said channel is available and enjoyed by Hathway subscribers even without opting for the said TV channel on an a-la-carte basis by the unlawful placement of the TV channel in unencrypted frequencies/forms.’
The broadcaster also claims that because of the unlawful placement of the channel, the subscriber base of Star Sports1 is not captured on the SMS and Cable Access System of Hathway. Consequently, the MSO does not pay any license/subscription fee, though the channel is available and viewed by the Hathway subscribers.
Star investigated the issue and video recorded the unencrypted retransmission by Hathway on 19 July on being informed of the illegal retransmission.
Even earlier, Hathway had illegally carried Star Sports channels on unencrypted frequencies in the DAS notified city of Mumbai in gross violation of the provisions of sections 51 & 63 of the Copyright Act, the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act and the applicable Regulations of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. A legal notice on 27 February 2014 was issued by Star Sports India in this regard.