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TDSAT orders ETV to give digital feed to Ortel















NEW DELHI: The Telecom Disputes Settlement Appellate Tribunal has ordered ETV to give its ETV Telugu feed to Ortel Communications of Orissa via decoders.


ETV has been told as a last chance to give the feed within the next seven days. The order was passed on 22nd May, while hearing a contempt petition filed by Ortel for ETV not complying with two earlier interim orders of the tribunal.The TDSAT has disallowed ETV‘s attempt to comply with the tribunal‘s earlier order by giving it through ETV-Zee TV joint venture, Variety Entertainment Pvt Ltd. 

 

Ortel, which has started rolling out voluntary Cas in Orissa, had been fighting for receiving the feed for its digital platform, and had filed the case some months ago, when ETV decide not to give the feed.Earlier this year, TDSAT had first ordered the Andhra-based broadcaster to give the feed for voluntary Cas, but later stayed its interim order when ETV argued that not the tribunal, but Parliament alone could roll out Cas.However, in the subsequent order, the tribunal vacated the stay and held that it had not usurped the Parliament‘s role and had not ordered Cas roll out, because it had confined to ordering giving digital feed to a player that was rolling out Cas voluntarily.TDSAT had ordered ETV then to give the feed by 9 April, though ETV consistently denied this feed.

 

Meanwhile, Zee TV and ETV formed a JV MSO, Variety Entertainment Pvt Ltd, which they said would give the feed via cable to Ortel. ETV had alleged to indiantelevision.com that it had been forced to take this step as Ortel was being backed by political powers and had been known to resort to strong arm tactics.Ortelt had denied such allegations.But Ortel had demanded the feed for its digital platform and that was the TDSAT order as well, which ETV refused to comply with.Ortel had then filed a contempt petition, which was heard on 22 May. Ortel reiterated that first of all, it was well known in the industry that rival MSO giving a feed usually undermines the receiving MSOs business.Besides, it pointed out to a specific order of the Supreme Court in the Sea TV case that a rival MSO could not be the agent of a broadcaster.The tribunal has now said that this would be the last chance for ETV to give the digital feed via decoder to Ortel, failing which the contempt issue would be taken up.

 

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