MRTPC directs Star, Sony, ESS to join HITS?

NEW DELHI: The Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission (MRTPC) has directed Star, Sony and ESPN Star Sports to provide signals to the Zee-promoted HITS platform till the next hearing, which is scheduled for 10 September.

Star and ESPN-Star Sports had earlier refused to join the Zee distribution platform while Sony too had dithered on the issue of a tie-up with Zee for the Rs 4000 million HITS platform. 

Zee’s distribution subsidiary Siti Cable, which is marketing HITS under the Galaxzee brand name, had been talking to the other broadcasters on this project for some time now, but had reached a dead end. The MRTPC order provides it the interim relief it needs as HITS takes off from 1 September. 

However, Discovery-SET India president Shantanu Aditya denied that this is true. He says, "We have not received any notice from the MRTPC. So where is the question of an order from the commission? The claim appears to be motivated. We are awaiting legal and technical clarifications from Siticable before we make our position known."

The refusal of the rival broadcasters to send their signals for Zee’s HITS system had meant that houses covered by Siti Cable in the CAS-notified areas may not receive these channels from 1 September. 

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