Technology

MSM Discovery fails to get relief on termination of pact by NDTV

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court has refused to interfere with the decision of NDTV to terminate its agreement with MSM Discovery, rejecting an appeal by MSM Discovery against a judgment of the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal.


A division bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said MSM failed to establish that it would suffer irreparable injury that could not be compensated, if the court did not interfere in the matter. "We are not satisfied that the facts of the present case show and establish any irreparable harm or injury that cannot be compensated in monetary terms," the court said.
 
The Court said the case would be examined in detail during the trial by Tdsat before which the main petition was pending. "We are not inclined to interfere with the order passed by the Tdsat rejecting the interim application," the court further said.


Earlier on 22 December, Justice S Muralidhar of the Court had also dismissed MSM‘s plea challenging the Tdsat declining to give a stay order. Thereafter, MSM Discovery had appealed before the Division Bench, which issued notice to the concerned parties on 15 January.


Tdsat had in early December turned down MSM’s plea challenging NDTV’s termination of channel distribution agreement with it and entering into a fresh agreement with rival firm Star Den, observing that MSM had failed to show as to why NDTV could not terminate their contract.


It said MSM could claim damages for break of contract only if NDTV terminated the contract wrongly.


"There is no reason in this case why NDTV could not terminate the contract. Even an illegal termination of contract may give rise to a claim in damages only," Tdsat had said. 
 
NDTV had terminated the channel distribution agreement with MSM on 13 December, after issuing a public notice, and entered into a fresh alliance with Star Den.


MSM Discovery approached Tdsat seeking to restrain NDTV from terminating distribution rights of its channels -- NDTV 24x7 (English news channel), NDTV Profit (business news channel), NDTV India (Hindi news channel) and NDTV Good Times (lifestyle channel).


MSM Discovery, a joint venture between Multi Screen Media and Discovery Communications, entered into an agreement with NDTV in 2003.


The contract was renewed in 2005 and 2009 for a fixed term fee and it was to expire on 31 March 2012.

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