Cable TV

TDSAT directs Hathway Cable to pay Rs 9 crore to Star Sports

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MUMBAI: The country's leading mult-system operator (MSO) Hathway Cable and Datacom and Rupert Murdoch-owned sports broadcaster Star Sports are engaged in two legal battles in the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT).

In the first case, the TDSAT has directed the two parties to settle their dispute over the outstanding dues in the tribunal's mediation centre. In the interim, in an order last week, the TDSAT had ordered Hathway Cable to pay Rs 8.57 crore to Star Sports within one week in settlement of some of the dues.

Hathway Cable has already made the Rs 8.57 crore payment. The MSO and the sports broadcaster will meet at the mediation centre on 27 March to discuss and settle issues over other payments that are due to Star Sports.

The order reads: “The petitioner admits the dues to the tune of Rs 8,57,18,075. It is further stated on behalf of the petitioner that Rs 1,16,12,554  was  deducted as tax payable at source and the petitioner will give the requisite certificates to the respondent within a week from today. The difference between the dues claimed by the respondent and admitted by the petitioner is thus in the vicinity of Rs 1.93 crore and odd. At this stage, it also needs to be noted that according to the respondent two cheques which added up to Rs 60,27,135 and which are shown in the petitioner’s statement of accounts as having been given to the respondent were not actually received by it. This amount would, therefore, be subject to verification.  In case the cheques have in fact not been given to the respondent the petitioner must pay the admitted amount of Rs 8,57,18,075 plus Rs 60,27,135. The aforesaid payment must be made to the respondent within one week from today i.e. by 17.03.2014.”

In another case filed by Star Sports against the MSO, the sports broadcaster has claimed that in the DAS phase I cities of Mumbai and Delhi, Hathway Cable has been violating the regulatory process by removing Star Sports out of its channel packs and placing them as a la carte without reducing the pack price or substituting the channels. It claims that the MSO is charging additional money for adding the channels above the pack.

This case will come up for hearing on 19 March. TDSAT has already asked Hathway Cable to file an affidavit showing that it is complying with the regulations, the number of subscribers who have requested Star Sports and the number of subscribers for whom Star Sports has been activated.

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