Rajahmundry MSO to get signals of Taj TV & Maa TV; Eenadu & Sun signals on interim basis

NEW DELHI: The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Arbitration Tribunal (TDSAT) has directed Eenadu and Sun TV to enter into interim and provisional interconnect agreements to supply signals to multi system operator (MSO) Vaji Digital Network in Rajahmundry, which is not a Digital Addressable System (DAS) area.

TDSAT chairman Aftab Alam and member Kuldip Singh said the agreement would be on a fixed monthly fee at the rate of 25 per cent of the aggregate amount of monthly subscription fee that they are receiving from their MSOs in Rajahmundry. 

Eenadu has one MSO from which it receives Rs 7,48,225 (exclusive of taxes) as monthly subscription fee. Sun has two MSOs in Rajahmundry from whom it receives an aggregate of Rs 11,92,929 as the monthly subscription fee. 

The provisional agreements with the petitioner will be at the rate of 25 per cent of the aforesaid amounts respectively. 

The Tribunal made it clear that the interim agreements will be without prejudice to the rights and contentions of the parties and the amount fixed for the provisional agreement will abide by the final determination in these two petitions. The agreements, as directed, may be executed forthwith and not later than a week from today and supply of signals should commence immediately on that basis. 

While giving the order, the Tribunal said it would give its final order on 22 July with regard to Eenadu and Sun.

However, the Tribunal resolved the matters relating to Maa TV and Taj TV with the consent of both sides.

A direction was given to MAA TV to execute an interconnect agreement with Vaji, the petitioner on a fixed fee of Rs 90,000 (exclusive of taxes) per month. The agreement may be executed forthwith and not later than a week from today and supply of signals should commence immediately on that basis. 

Taj TV submitted that in Rajahmundry area the broadcaster was receiving Rs 6,95,975 as the monthly subscription fee for the Taj group of channels. Taj TV counsel Tejveer Bhatia said Taj was willing to give the signals of its channels to the petitioner on monthly subscription at the rate of 30 per cent of the subscription fee received by it from the other MSO for the first quarter, 35 per cent of that amount for the second quarter and 40 per cent of the amount for the third and fourth quarters. The offer was accepted by Vaji and so the petition was disposed with the direction to enter into an interconnect agreement in the aforesaid terms. The agreement may be executed forthwith and not later than a week from today and supply of signals should commence immediately on that basis.

A new entrant in the field of broadcasting, MSO Vaji had sought to enter into agreements with the four broadcasters to get their signals. However, the broadcasters did not accept the Service Line Report whereby the petitioner gave the number of subscribers he had with him.

The matter was first referred to the arbitration centre but could not be resolved.

In another similar matter by Rudhrapur Cable Network against Star TV, the Tribunal appointed Vadivelu Deenadayalan as an Advocate Commissioner with the consent of the both the parties to carry out the survey of the area and recommend the SLR on which the agreement may be executed between the parties. The survey may be carried out in presence of both the parties and the report be submitted within 4 weeks from today. The matter will now come up on16 July.

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