SET Discovery files complaint with Trai against Hathway Bhawani

MUMBAI: SET Discovery has filed a complaint with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) against Hathway Bhawani Cabletel & Datacom for switching off Sony TV without prior notice.

Hathway Bhawani had switched Sony TV off on Friday (11 February) in the evening, just before the popular show Indian Idol was to start on the channel. "They did not give us any notice. We are taking the issue up with Trai," says SET Discovery president Shantanu Aditya.

While Trai is wanting broadcasters to give a month's notice to cable operators before switching off signals, Aditya says the same should be applicable to cable operators. "The switch off can happen from multi system operator (MSO) to the distributor and the last mile operator. We want to tell Trai that this should stretch across the value chain," he adds.

Hathway Bhawani director Kulbhushan Puri dismisses such charges from SET Discovery. "We didn't switch off Sony. It was purely a technical reason. The channel is back on our cable network," he says.

In a related development, SET Discovery has given feed to Abhay Vision, a local cable operator who has won a contract to service Bhaba Atomic Research Centre (BARC). Hathway Bhawani was earlier servicing BARC. "This is what has angered Hathway Bhawani. We were told not to provide feed to the other cable operator. But under Trai's `Must Provide' regulation we can't deny content to anybody. Cable operators are forming informal monopolies," says an official in Sony.

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