SC admits LCOs plea against Tdsat's DAS order

NEW DELHI: The supreme court today admitted for hearing an appeal by united cable operators welfare association (Ucowa) challenging the revenue sharing model under the digital addressable system (DAS) for cable television.

Chief justice Altamis Kabir, justice Vikramjit Sen and justice S A Bobde also issued notice to the telecom regulatory authority of India (Trai) and the information & broadcasting ministry.

The court also decided to list for hearing this appeal along with the appeals filed earlier by Incable and Digicable.

All the three appeals are against the judgment of the telecom disputes settlement and appellate tribunal (Tdsat) of 19 October last year.

In its petition, the Ucowa said the tariff order and regulations were aimed at helping the television broadcasters and the direct-to-home platforms.

They said it was also clear that the channels were deliberately not revealing their retail tariff per channel.

The counsel stressed that they were not opposed to introduction of digital DAS but some infirmities had to be corrected.

The LCOs had failed to get any relief from Tdsat on their plea that the revenue sharing pattern of 55:45 on the basic service tier (free to air television channels) of Rs 100 and 65:35 on the upper tier of Rs 150 (combination of FTA and pay channels), and their appeals were dismissed.

The appeals by the MSOs had been filed against the unfair fixation of the wholesale rate the price broadcasters can charge of channels for DAS at not more than 42 percent of the non-Cas area rate. The MSOs are concerned about the rate that would be fixed after DAS is implemented countrywide (by December 2014).

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