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Sony channels back on Tata Sky after a two-month blackout

Tata Sky-SPNI deal was hammered out as TDSAT directed a mutual resolution

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MUMBAI: All’s well that ends well. A commercial dispute between Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI) and India’s DTH premier operator Tata Sky has finally been resolved mutually. All Sony channels, which were dropped from the satellite platform, have returned after two-month partial blackout --- much to the relief of the consumers.

According to industry sources, the terms and conditions of the contract between the broadcaster (SPNI) and the DTH operator (Tata Sky) were mutually resolved, though the exact nature of the financial deal has not been revealed.  

On 1 October 2018, Tata Sky pulled off 22 SPN channels from the platform, which evoked massive anger among consumers. The DTH platform had retained some of the Sony channels on a-la-carte rates, though.

According to Tata Sky CEO Harit Nagpal, commercial negotiations with the broadcaster had broken down as deals being sought by SPNI would have forced the distribution platform to hike prices for the consumers. Sony, meanwhile, had claimed that the decision by the leading DTH platform was “unilateral”.

Earlier, SPN had issued a disconnection notice to Tata Sky on 7 September 2018, which was followed by a public notice on 10 September 2018 detailing the same.

According to a PTI report, SPNI's three-year contract with Tata Sky had expired on 31 July 2018. After the contract got over, Tata Sky had asked for an extension so the deal could come through and it also tried to reach a new pricing deal after 31 July 2018. The talks had failed at this point.

Later, the Telecom Disputes Settlement Appellate Tribunal TDSAT heard a case relating to commercial dispute on 11 October 2018 and advised the parties concerned to take four weeks to try and reach a mutually acceptable negotiated agreement.

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