Star offers to shake hands with Dish TV

NEW DELHI: Star and Dish TV move towards a consensus by shaking hands even as the launch of Tata Sky's DTH service is imminent.

A day before the Supreme Court is to hear a case on channel pricing, Star today delivered to Dish TV, country's first pay DTH platform, the integrated receiver decoder boxes that would enable the DTH operator to access Star channels for redistribution purpose.

Some formalities are yet to be completed, both the companies said.

Dish TV CEO Sunil Khanna added, “It might take a couple of days for us to start beaming the Star channels on the platform as the boxes need to be tested.”

As per a directive of the disputes tribunal TDSAT (Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal), Star has offered its channels to Dish TV at Rs 27 per subscriber a month. Dish would also not pay any minimum guarantee money to Star.

A spokesperson for Star India said that in deference to TDSAT directive an offer was made to Dish TV despite the latter moving the Supreme Court on the tribunal order.

Not clear at the moment is what would happen to a Supreme Court case, which was filed by Dish TV some time back. Dish had petitioned that instead of Rs 27, the Star channels should come to it cheaper as Star had offered its channels to Dish some years back at one-fourth the price paid by cable ops.

The price of Rs 27 fixed by TDSAT for Star bouquet of channels is 50 per cent of Rs 54 that a cable operator presently pays.

Dish TV sources said the Supreme Court case is likely to continue, but is unlikely to have much of a bearing on the present truce called by Dish and Star. The apex court will be hearing the Dish TV petition on 4 August.

Dish TV has been waging a legal battle for over a year to get Star and Sony-Discovery channels on its platform. The Sony-Discovery One Alliance recently signed up with Dish TV.

Meanwhile, Dish’s Khanna said that a price revision of the monthly subscription would be decided in a few days time. “In all probability, Star Plus and other popular channels would be part of Dish TV’s basic tier of service, which also includes other mass general entertainment channels like Zee TV, Sony and HBO.”

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