Siti vs Star HITS case still in limbo as MRTPC postpones hearing to 27-28 October

NEW DELHI: The battle between Subhash Chandra's companies, ASC Enterprise and Siti Cable, and other broadcasters like Star India and Sony Entertainment Television (SET) hots up - even as ASC has soft-launched its direct to home (DTH) service and is preparing to implement addressability through its headend in the sky (HITS) project.

The Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission (MRTPC) today deferred a hearing on a case filed by ASC-Siti Cable against Star, Sony and ESPN-Star Sports (ESS) for refusing to make available their signals to a Zee-promoted HITS platform.

Even as the next hearing is slated for 27 and 28 October, the parties concerned are looking at the different interpretation of clause 4a of the amended cable TV (Networks) Regulation Act. The act states that all pay channels would have to be mandatorily routed through a set-top box in an CAS (conditional access system)-enabled regime.

While Chandra's companies have interpreted this as being a clause that gives them the right to carry Star, Sony and ESS' signals on their digital HITS platform, the others have a different stand on the interpretation.

According to industry sources, the lawyers of Star, Sony and ESS today sought more time from the MRTPC.

Last month, a two-judge Supreme Court bench, on being petitioned by Star Sony and ESS, had vacated an earlier order by the MRTPC. The apex court had stated that Star, Sony and ESS should continue to make available their signals to Siti's HITS platform till the Commission came to a final conclusion on the matter.

After a marathon hearing on 3 September, the bench had reserved judgment on a special leave petition (SLP) filed by Star on 30 August appealing against the MRTPC order. The SC heard initial arguments on 1 September.

Sony, which had refrained from appealing against the MRTPC order, also joined issues through an SLP on 2 September, that was clubbed with Star's and heard alongside. The decision was taken as Sony was already a respondent in the case filed by Siti -ASC.

Star and Sony's argument revolved around the fact that the MRTPC observation on creation of a monopoly is not valid as they don't have any commercial agreement with Siti-ASC on HITS.

Siti-ASC had moved the MRTPC against Star India, SET Singapore, SET India, ESPN- Star Sports and the MSO Hathway Datacom (in which Star has a 26 per cent stake) seeking prevention against trade practices that could amount to being monopolistic.

Siti-ASC's petition before the MRTPC had stated, that all other pay channels had agreed to join the HITS platform, being conscious of their obligation to achieve what the government has sought to do by the introduction of CAS in the larger public interest.

Pointing out that the respondents were attempting to stifle competition and prevent the operation of free market forces, Siti-ASC had pleaded that "appropriate orders deserved to be passed by this Hon'ble Commission".

It may be recalled that Siti has recently also moved the Delhi High Court against the government's decision to defer CAS in the capital. The Dehi HC, which had reserved its judgment on the issue, is yet to issue a final verdict.

Latest Reads
CNNMoney new section will be about the fastest growing economy; MoneyStream app launched

MUMBAI: Attracting 1.8 million average monthly page views, witnessing a 37 per cent growth in video consumption and 16 per cent in unique browsers month-on-month from India in less than a year’s time is not smooth. In its ambitious plan of global expansion, CNN Digital is leaving no stone unturned...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
Content a 'Game of Thrones'; AT&T's control over HBO, Cartoon Network, Warner Bros faces regulatory lens

The global media landscape is resulting in a new juggernaut as an internet and cable behemoth yesterday purchased an entertainment conglomerate making the former unmatched in its size and reach to consumers through home broadband, smartphones, satellite television and a battery of movies and cable...

Television TV Channels English Entertainment
US$ 4.5 bn expected from IPL rights; SC recommends accounts scrutiny

The Supreme Court on Friday froze all financial transactions between the BCCI and state cricket associations by directing the apex body not to disburse any funds till it resolves to abide by the Justice RM Lodha panel recommendations on reforms by 3 December . The top court ordered that none of...

Television TV Channels Sports
TVS Tyres is co-presenter for Asian Champions Trophy 2016

Continuing its strong connect with sports, TVS Tyres has associated with Asian Champions Trophy 2016 by becoming the co-presenter. The Asian Champions Trophy is one of the premier hockey tournaments, a much sought after annual international competition promising some great hockey action. This...

Television TV Channels Sports
Q2-17: Zee Learn declares maiden interim dividend

The board of directors of the Essel group’s education company Zee Learn Limited (ZLL) have declared a first time ever dividend of 5 percent per equity share of Re 1 each for the quarter ended 30 September 2016 (Q2-17, current quarter).

Television TV Channels Factual & Documentary
Whether BARC action can stop unethical practices?

MUMBAI: Can businesses and industries practise their art of selling fairly although they have 'Fair Practices' training during academic courses, workshops and several ISO and other certifications? There seems to be the fear of the lawman, and not the law in India. If the traffic cop is watching,...

Television TV Channels Viewership
TV Superhighway: beIN, Yaddo, AfricaXP have joined us, says Magine CEO Ambuj Goyal

CANNES; Magine has secured partnerships with four of the industry’s most exciting sports, documentary and entertainment content providers. Partnerships with beIN, the international media group and owner of MIRAMAX; Yaddo, the new documentary streaming service headed up by former head of The BBC’s...

Television TV Channels Factual & Documentary
Colors emerges strong on strength of Naagin I & II

MUMBAI: One of the top rated shows Naagin Season 2 helped Colors reach a top-ranking position.

Television TV Channels GECs
Pakistan Broadcasters Association to oppose PEMRA Indian content ban

MUMBAI: The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) shocked both Pakistan and Indian broadcasters when it issued an order blanking out  all Indian content from Pakistan’s television channels on 19 October.

Television TV Channels GECs

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories