TataSky to ask Sun to be blacked out from cable, DTH platforms

NEW DELHI: TataSky will on Monday (9 April) pray before the Telecom Disputes Settlement Appellate Tribunal the Sun TV be disallowed from being aired in any cable or DTH platform.

Reason: The South Indian broadcast major‘s refusal to comply with the court‘s order to stream signals of all its channels to the News Corp backed DTH operator on a non-discriminatory basis.

The court had issued an order to this effect and the last date of compliance was over today.

"Sun had on the last day of hearing even withdrawn its review petition, which means it does not dispute the order, and even then, they have not complied with it, so we are going to press for this penalty," Ramji Srinivasan, senior counsel for TataSky told today.


Srinivasan pointed out that the court in previous instances of non-compliance (for instance in a different between two other parties case on data access) levied a fine of Rs 1 lakh, and there have been instances of day-to-day fines being ordered.


Asked whether TataSky has written to Sun lately on this, Vikram Kaushik, TataSky CEO, told "My writing to them or otherwise means nothing, because this is a court order and has to be complied with. In any case, we have lots of subscribers in the south and they have been waiting for long for this to happen."

Attempts to contact a Sun spokesperson for a comment on these developments proved futile till the time of filing this report.

On 19 March, TDSAT had passed an interim order asking Sun TV to stream its signals on an a la carte basis to TataSky, at 50 per cent of the cable charges.

The order meant that Sun was obliged to give TataSky the channels that the DTH operator wanted, and the price Sun would have to offer it was at 50 per cent of the price for the same channels that it received from the MSOs in the cable TV field.

On the last day of hearing of the review petition filed by Sun on the interim order, the latter had raised several issues, especially demanding that TataSky should pay Sun for its entire subscription base, and other questions.

The court had been upset and accused Sun of "taking us round and round" without complying with the order, and had strictly said that the order must be complied with by 7 April.

The court had also said that it would either dismiss the petition or Sun could withdraw it, and the broadcaster had opted for the latter course of action.

Srinivasas says this withdrawal meant Sun had accepted the order and would have to comply with it, which it has not done so far.



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