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Prasar Bharati's policy on DD Free Dish to be out soon

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MUMBAI: The suspense surrounding Prasar Bharti's policy on its free direct-to-home (DTH) platform is likely to end soon. The pubcaster has told the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) that it will come out with a new policy for DD Free Dish in a few weeks.

Prasar Bharti made this submission before the tribunal that is hearing petitions filed by broadcasters against Doordarshan’s decision to scrap slot auctions without putting in place a new policy.

As a result, Prasar Bharati has finally decided to expedite matters by framing a new policy on DD Free Dish.

“The respondent – Prasar Bharti submits that the respondent is in the process of taking a policy decision in respect of subject matter of these petitions. It is expected that such decision may be taken within few weeks,” the TDSAT noted in its brief order.

Following Prasar Bharati’s submission, the tribunal has posted the matter under the same head on 28 May. The tribunal also told Prasar Bharati to bring on record any decision that it takes in the meantime.

“It appears that pleadings are already complete in these matters and there is no requirement of taking any further evidence. However, if there is any subsequent development, the parties will be at liberty to take required steps,” the TDSAT stated.

Broadcasters have argued that DD can allow channels to continue on Free Dish on pro-rata basis. They also contended that DD’s decision amounts to discrimination as it has earlier granted continuity to channels on a pro-rata basis.

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