TDSAT defers Dish TV-MTV case hearing to 20 July

MUMBAI: Earlier this week, Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) deferred yet again a case relating to interconnection agreements between a DTH service and a content provider.

The Dish TV vs. MTV case will now be heard on 20 July as the new chairman of the disputes tribunal wanted some more time to study the case and MTV, part of One Alliance bouquet, reuqested more time to file additional replies.

Dish TV, 20 per cent owned by Zee Telefilms, had moved TDSAT in May against MTV's unwillingness to come on to its DTH platform.

The MTV- Dish case has been pending at the disputes tribunal after an initial hearing as the chairman of the organization retired in July, while the search for a new candidate was started.

The case is likely to have an important bearing on supply of content to various platforms under norms specified by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), sector regulator.

Despite a Trai specification, accepted by the government too, no Star or SET/One Alliance channel has formally decided to join the Dish TV platform though negotiations are said to be on.

In a recent interview to, Star India CEO Peter Mukerjea hinted that protracted negotiations between Dish and Star may soon be successfully concluded.

Though Zee Telefilms additional vice-chairman Jawahar Goel refused to throw further light on the TDSAT case when contacted, he did admit that presently, Dish TV has capacity to accommodate channels from only one of the three non Zee bouquets of Star, One Alliance and Sun TV on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Interestingly, Sab TV, previously owned by the Sri Adhikari Brothers, was part of the Dish TV platform, but hopped out after the channel was taken over by Sony Entertainment Television (SET) some time back.

After the acquisition, SET converted Sab TV into a pay channel. “Now Sab TV would have to be negotiated along with other Sony channels for being on Dish TV,” Goel explained.

However, since these technical aspects are not widely known to the present subscribers of Dish TV, complaints have been pouring in over the disappearance of Sab TV from the country’s first DTH platform.

Asked whether Dish TV, presently offering approximately 120 TV and radio channels, had any intention of moving TDSAT on the issue of Sab TV,Goel did not give any firm commitment.

According to norms specified by Trai, a DTH service provider cannot offer exclusive content and all content has to be made available (on a commercial basis) to all platforms on a non-discriminatory basis.

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