InCable fails to pursue its application in Bombay High Court: ESPN

Despite filing an urgent application before the Bombay High Court, InCable lawyers today requested for the postponement of the hearing of the case, an ESPN Software spokesperson said today.

An urgent petition was filed by InCable Network on 8 January, 2002 in the Bombay High Court for restoration of ESPN and Star Sports signals which were switched off by ESPN Software India Pvt. Ltd. following the expiry of the period of the service contract on December 31, 2001. It appears that InCable is not keen on pursuing its application and instead, is using the pendency of the matter before the Honourable High Court to confuse and mislead its sub-operators and customers into believing that the ESPN and Star Sports signals will be restored shortly. InCable Network also continues to hold its own customers to ransom by charging them the usual subscription fees without showing them ESPN India and Star Sports India signals, the spokesperson said.

Even though ESPN Software lawyers were present in court and ready to argue the case, InCable lawyers chose not to argue and instead requested for the postponement of the matter. Due to such a request, the Honourable High Court directed the matter to be taken up in the regular course and no date as such has been fixed for the next hearing.

Meanwhile, most cable networks affiliated to MSOs Hathway, Siticable and Wincable in Mumbai, as well as over 60 independent cable operators in and around Mumbai city, have signed the new service contracts for ESPN and Star Sports. Only the cable networks affiliated to InCable (that includes Seven Star which has a major presence in the western suburbs of Andheri-Juhu-Vile Parle) are yet to sign the new contracts.

Regretfully it has also come to our notice that some cable networks affiliated to InCable are stealing the ESPN and Star Sports signals. This is a criminal offence under the Copyrights Act and the Indian Penal Code. We will initiate appropriate action against those cable network indulging in piracy of ESPN and Star Sports signals, the spokesperson added.

When contacted, Ashok Mansukhani, executive V-P, corporate services, Hinduja Group said as the matter was sub judice he would not like to comment on this at this stage. X 

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