Tata Sky starts receiving Zee-Turner channels

MUMBAI: It took a rap on the knuckles today by the sector tribunal, but finally, DTH service provider Tata Sky can now claim to have a "complete" channel offering. Zee-Turner this evening provided the signals for its channels after an order issued earlier in the day by the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT).

"Now they (the Zee-Turner channels) are on," Tata Sky MD & CEO Vikram Kaushik told Indiantelevision.com. "The channels were delayed by Zee-Turner and the tribunal directed them to provide the signals," he added.

Coming down heavily on the distribution network, TDSAT chairman Justice Arun Kumar was quoted by Press trust of India news service as saying, "tricks would not work ... at least I did not expect this from you ... you are more interested in earning money rather than implementation of the order."

During the proceedings Zee-Turner, a 74:26 joint venture between Zee Telefilms and Turner International India, a sister concern of Time Warner, contended that Tata Sky was yet to address issues "regarding territory and piracy" mentioned in their terms and condition, the PTI report said. In its response, Tata Sky accused Zee-Turner of unilaterally deciding the terms and conditions under which they would provide signals.

Zee Turrner had given an undertaking last Wednesday (20 September) to TDSAT that it would provide all the 32 channels in its bouquet at an interim pricing of Rs 75. Tata Sky is already offering 75 channels at an introductory price offer of Rs 200.

Zee Turner claims had then told Indiantelevision.com that it had got what it wanted. "We wanted our entire bundle of channels to be taken and at that price. This falls in line with the latest TDSAT directive," Zee Turner CEO Arun Poddar had said.

The final hearing will be on 18 October where the issues of pricing, capacity and other related issues will be decided.

It may be recalled that Zee Turner was willing to provide all its channels at a price of Rs 75 while Tata Sky wanted to select the channels it wants at half the price of cable TV rates.

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