Trai directs Zee Turner to restore signals to Asianet

BANGALORE/ MUMBAI: In what is going to be a shot in the arm for Asianet and its subscribers, Trai has directed Zee Turner to restore the signals to the former that had been cut in the intervening night of 15 December - 16 December 2004.

The regulator has also asked Zee Turner to furnish a compliance report within two days of receipt of this direction and to scrupulously comply with the requirements of regulation before disconnection of signals.

The regulator, in its order, observed that Zee Turner violated terms of clauses 4.1 and 4.2 of the inter-connect regulations it released on 10 December 2004. The clause 4.1 makes it mandatory for broadcasters or multi system operators to give notice of a specified period along with brief reasons to a distributor of TV channels before disconnection of TV channel signals. While 4.2 makes it obligatory for the broadcaster /multi system operator to give notice to discontinue signals in two local newspapers or national papers depending upon the area served or alternatively inform the consumers through the scroll in the channel.

In one of its arguments, Zee Turner had said that the letter to the complainant distributor was issued on 8 December 2004 prior to the regulations being notified and hence the regulation did not apply to this case. Another argument that it put forth was that the Trai regulation though dated 10 December 2004 have been issued to the public only after 17 December 2004 when the official notification has been made available to the public.

The regulator squashed Zee Turner's argument stating that it is the date of actual disconnection that is relevant to judge whether the disconnection has been done before or after the coming into force of the regulation.

Zee Turner had switched off its signals to Asianet claiming that a large outstanding is due from the network. ZT also switched off its signals to Asianet for HBO on 10 January as the

stalemate refused to resolve itself. Zee-Turner bouquet includes channels like Zee Cinema, Zee TV, Zee English, Cartoon Network, POGO, CNBC and ZMZ.

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