MEN hits back, says FTV defied Indian court

MUMBAI: Modi Entertainment Network, after an apparently failed attempt to patch up matters with Fashion TV, Paris, has issued a statement today claiming that the fashion channel has refused to recognise Indian courts and hitting out at FTV for breaching contract conditions.


Referring to the 19 May Delhi High Court order restraining FTV from entering into any third party agreements for distribution, advertising, merchandising and licensing rights and directing it to re-encrypt the channel's signal, MEN says that Fashion TV continues to violate the court's edict.


"Further, any Indian company or group of companies cannot get into any business arrangement with Fashion TV Paris directly for business purposes in India and SAARC region without the written consent of the Modi Group, and nor can Fashion TV Paris get into any business arrangement in India and the SAARC region without a consent from the Modi Group.

Any such business arrangement will be in direct violation of the Delhi High Court Order," claims MEN. Fashion TV has, in the last two months tied up with the Worldwide Channel for ad sales.

According to the statement, Modis and Fashion TV Paris got into a long-term arrangement not just for distribution, but as broadcast partners. MEN, says the statement, holds sole and exclusive rights for marketing, ad-sales, advertising, merchandising and licensing, including all copyrights for the region. The agreement does not allow Fashion TV Paris to get into any third party agreements without consent from the Modi Group and all agreements of any kind in India and the SAARC Region for Fashion TV have be entered into through or with the Modi Group. 

Fashion TV on the other hand, has slammed MEN for going ahead with the setting up of the Fashion Bars without authorisation from the channels. An aggrieved MEN now claims that although Fashion TV India is the largest operation and the highest revenue generator for Fashion TV on distribution revenues as well as ad sales compared to any other office of Fashion TV worldwide, the channel did not recognise its contributin. 'On the Merchandising front too, the Fashion Bar was launched successfully in Bangalore and two others have been signed up and are under construction in less than a years time. The Modi Group has built a high equity for the Fashion TV brand in the region within a short span of two years, the only lasting relationship Fashion TV has ever had in India or elsewhere. Both the previous relationships Fashion TV had in India didn't last for long,' the statement says.

As part of the agreement, the Modi Group says it paid a fixed amount as deposit to be returned without any conditions within 18 months of getting into the agreement. Besides, Modis also paid a minimum guarantee on a monthly basis to Fashion TV Paris, which the Modi Group paid on time and without any default. However, Fashion TV Paris failed to honour their commitment of returning the fixed amount and after several reminders the Modi Group was left with no choice but to stop payment of the minimum guarantee and press for refund of the fixed amount, says the statement. 

The channel, says MEN, paid no attention to its repeated requests and threatened to terminate the contract if the minimum guarantee for April 2003 wasn't cleared. In reality, says MEN, the channel owed the Modi Group the money and breached their contract by de-crypting the signal of Fashion TV making it "free-to-air". 

After the failure of talks to resolve the dispute, FTV Paris did not refund the fixed amount as per the agreement, failed to re-encrypt the channel keeping it free-to-air, announced the same on their website inviting cable operators thus making the Modi Group lose distribution revenues from cable operators for both present and past collections and got into an agreement with Worldwide Channel to solicit advertisements, which is against the agreement between the two parties, says the statement.

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