Supreme Court dismisses Asianet petition against ESPN

MUMBAI: The Supreme Court has dismissed the interlocutory application filed by Asianet Satellite Communications (Asianet) against ESPN Software India.

Asianet is seeking early hearing of their appeal against the Tdsat order denying the company discounted services from ESPN.

ESPN said in a statement that Asianet wanted services of its channels - ESPN, Star Sports and Star Cricket channels at a huge discount from the prevailing rate. "The monthly subscription fee offered by Asianet was much lower than the interim arrangement between the parties which expired in May, 2011, and was entered into when Asianet first filed the appeal in the Supreme Court in 2010," the company said.
The interim arrangement, ESPN said, was arrived post extended negotiations and was accepted by top officials of Asianet. "Post May‘11, without any fresh facts Asianet sought further reduction in the subscription fee claiming a lesser market share of 25 per cent in Kerala and seeking parity on that basis. Such unsubstantiated claims were the reason the Tdsat passed an adverse order against Asianet initial petition on 28 May, 2010," ESPN said.

It is against this order that Asianet had filed the appeal on the same grounds and filed an interlocutory application for early hearing during pendency of the appeal.

The Apex Court considered the matter and initially directed the parties to explore a negotiated settlement. However, ESPN said that further talks ended in stalemate since Asianet made "unrealistic offers".

The Supreme Court, after hearing both parties, dismissed Asianet‘s application. The matter will now proceed ordinarily as and when it is listed in due course.

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