IndiaCast UTV vs DishTV: Who really won?

MUMBAI:  It’s a battle that has both warring parties claiming victory. We are referring to the IndiaCast UTV Disney vs Dish TV scrap wherein each has been taking potshots at each other on an ‘on-request channel’ scheme that the platform has been running which involves the aggregators’ channels.

Both petitioned the Telecom Dispute Settlement Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) for a resolution and judgment.

The matter was heard by the TDSAT today. IndiaCast’s pleas were:

*Declare that the ‘on request’ categorisations of IndiaCast UTV channels in its current form be declared null and void.

* Declare that the payment of monthly licence fees by DishTV be done in terms of TRAI regulations.

* Declare that the scrolls/crawls being run by DishTV on IndiaCast UTV is (sic.) absolutely illegal.

*Permanently restrain Dish TV from running any scroll in any manner whatsoever.

*Pass an ad interim ex-parte order directing Dish TV to pay licence fees to IndiaCast UTV on the basis of the number of subscribers of packages in which the aggregators channels are placed.

* Pass an ad interim order restraining Dish TV from, in any manner whatsoever switching off or blacking out the aggregator’s channels to subscribers, subscribing to the package in which the IndiaCast UTV channels exist.

DishTV’s plea was:

* IndiaCast UTV be restrained from issuing false, frivolous, and baseless alert notices to the subscribers of DishTV.

*Declare the alert notice issued by IndiaCast UTV as illegal, malafide and defamatory.

* Direct IndiaCast UTV to issue an unconditional and unqualified apology for publishing the wrong false and misleading alert notices to subscribers of DishTV.

* Direct IndiaCast UTV to issue a corrigendum in all the newspapers and channels with the same prominence where the alert notices have been published.

At the time of writing both claimed that the tribunal had ruled in their favour.

While IndiaCast UTV stated that the TDSAT has struck down the ‘on-request channel’ scheme, Dish TV said it has not, adding that it is going to continue with it - albeit with a rejoinder that it will be called an ‘a la carte on request channel scheme.’

IndiaCast UTV, on its part, has agreed to DishTV’s pleas to stop running the alert notices in newspapers and on air.

Sources in IndiaCast UTV say their fears about the scheme were that DishTV could have mis-utilised it by making its channels available in both the DTH operator’s base and other subscriber packs and also in its a la carte offerings.

If subscribers did not send an SMS confirming that they wanted the IndiaCast UTV channels, these would be dropped from their pack offerings, even as subscribers would continue paying as per earlier pack prices. Since subscribers would have unsubscribed, Dish TV would not be liable to make payments to IndiaCast UTV despite collecting the entire price for the pack (inclusive of the IndiaCast UTV channels).  This, IndiaCast UTV executives feared, would lead to a loss of revenues for them.

They point out to an earlier interview in which DishTV CEO R.C. Venkateish was quoted as saying that the ‘on request channel’ scheme “is not a la carte offering but a scheme that will run on existing packs. We intend to progressively classify a number of channels as ‘on request channels’.”

DishTV’s lawyers, however, clarified with the TDSAT today that the IndiaCast UTV channels would not be offered in all the various subscription packs that the operator offers but rather as a la carte offerings from 1 January 2014. And this is exactly what the aggregator was seeking, say IndiaCast UTV sources.

Earlier agreements between DishTV and IndiaCast UTV for 22 channels in its bouquet are slated to expire on 31 December 2013, while those for another 11 are slated to expire on 31 March 2014.

DishTV sent out an official statement, which said:

 “The TDSAT has disposed off the petition of IndiaCast UTV and has upheld the ‘on request DishTV’ scheme where the channels of IndiaCast UTV will be provided by DishTV to its subscribers on a la carte basis.  On the petition of DishTV, the TDSAT has also directed IndiaCast UTV to stop publishing advertisements against the ‘on request channel’ scheme of DishTV. We have also been allowed to run the scrolls publishing the ‘on request channels’ scheme by mentioning that the channels will be available on a la carte basis.”

We at indiantelevision.com don’t know if we have seen the last of the exchange of fisticuffs between the two. Let’s wait and watch how things pan out in the coming days.

Latest Reads

Q2-17: Videocon d2h top and bottom lines up

BENGALURU: Last quarter, Videocon d2h was the second listed Indian DTH player to report a profit after tax (PAT), after the Essel group’s Dish TV that turned the numbers black last year. Taking that trend further, Videocon d2h reported PAT of Rs 6.32 crore (0.8 percent margin) for the quarter...

DTH DTH Operator
Q2-17: Airtel Digital TV revenue up, sees highest subscriber growth

BENGALURU: Indian telecom major Bharti Airtel Limited’s Digital TV Services segment (DTH segment) reported 21.9 percent year-over-year (y-o-y) increase in operating revenues for the quarter ended 30 September 2016 (Q2-17, current quarter). Also, Operating Profit (Earnings Before interest and Tax...

DTH DTH Services
Three new TV channels join DD FreeDish bouquet; 24 get extension

Doordarshan earned a sum of Rs 1293 million (Rs 129 crore ) by sale of three new slots and extension of the licence of another 24 on the 31st auction of its free-to-air direct-to-home platform FreeDish on 20 and 21 October.

DTH DTH Operator
DishTV launches Kids Active in partnership with Shemaroo

Value added services has been a focus area, a clear differentiator and an integral part of our offering. By not leaving any stone unturned in order to provide a wide range of content and services to its subscribers, DishTV Asia’s largest DTH brand has partnered with Shemaroo, one of India’s leading...

DTH DTH Operator
DishTV takes total HD channel count to 55; adds regional HD channels

Catering to the demand of regional viewers and bringing them under the High Definition umbrella, DishTV, Asia’s largest DTH service provider, has added four new regional HD channels to its HD offerings. With addition of these channels, DishTV encourages regional language subscribers to opt for HD...

DTH DTH Operator
Pay and play multi-genre Music+ on Tata Sky

DTH player Tata Sky launched the "nation's first service with four music genres on a pay TV platform" in Mumbai on Wednesday. Christened 'Music+', it has been launched in partnership with digital entertainment company Hungama.

DTH DTH Operator
DD FreeDish to roll out call centre

It’s getting customer-focused. Almost as if inspired by the services provided by the private DTH providers such as Tata Sky, DishTV, Videcon d2h, Airtel Digtial TV, and Sun Direct, the Doordarshan-promoted free TV provider DD FreeDish is getting set to launch its call centre facility.

DTH DTH Operator
DD FreeDish e-auction put off due to technical errors

In probably what is a first, DD FreeDish’s e-auction was scrapped yesterday. The reason: technical glitches on the site of the auctioneer C1 India Pvt Ltd.

DTH DTH Operator
DTH players roll out festival offers

MUMBAI: Brands are bursting Diwali offers. As the festive season draws closer, all the D2H players, one after the other, are extending lucrative offers to consumers to buy their products and subscribe to their service. Tata Sky had run a promotional offer between 8 and 21 August on its tenth...

DTH DTH Operator

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories