Regulators

Hathway to provide Zee, Turner channels on a la carte

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MUMBAI: It was three weeks ago when Taj Television, the distribution arm of Zee and distribution agent for Turner channels had issued a public notice against Hathway Cable and Datacom. It had had informed consumers that the Zee and Turner channels may be pulled off from Hathway?s network if the multi system operator (MSO) did not clear the pending subscription fees and sign the interconnection agreement. The deadline came to an end on 31 July, and immediately after that Taj Television switched off signals to Hathway.

This resulted in Hathway moving the Telecom Disputes Settlement Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) on 1 August. ?As per the law, we had signed the interconnect agreement with Taj Television, but had raised a few objections, which wasn?t acceptable to the distribution arm of Zee. So they pulled off signals and we approached TDSAT today,? says a source close to the development.

As per the source, Hathway wanted to sign a RIO deal and provide all the Zee and Turner channels on a la carte. This was unacceptable to the distribution arm.

In its order today, TDSAT has asked Taj Television to restore the channel signals. Also, starting August, until any further order from the regulator,  Zee and Turner channels will be available on a la carte only on Hathway in the DAS I and II areas.

As for the pending payment from April to July, the MSO will pay Rs 21.60 per set top box to the broadcaster. ?The payment has to be made on an immediate basis,? the source reveals.

The sports arm of Zee- Ten Sports however, remains unaffected since the MSO has its agreement with the sports broadcaster till 2015.

Hathway on its part is also working out packages which will ensure that the consumer is not burdened with heavy cable bills. 

The next hearing for the case has not yet been announced.  

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