Regulators

TDSAT rejects IBF plea for more time to sign RIOs with NSTPL saying HITS players get equal status with pan-India MSOs

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/regulators-images/2016/04/04/tdsat_0.jpg?itok=aG7cswpV

NEW DELHI: An application by the Indian Broadcasting Foundation seeking extension of time for its members to sign reference interconnect offers agreements with the Noida Software Technology Park Ltd (NSTPL)  has been turned down by the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal.  

In a landmark judgment expected to have far reaching consequences on the Indian broadcasting industry, TDSAT had on 7 December last said that headend-in-the-sky (HITS) players should be treated on the same level as pan-India multi-system operators (MSOs) for commercial purposes.

In its judgment on a petition filed by the NSTPL against Media Pro and others, the tribunal said its judgment would come into effect from 31 March 2016 by which time it hoped that the relevant reference interconnect offers will be revised wherever necessary.

Apart from the IBF, some television channels had also filed applications seeking an extension, and the tribunal had addressed certain questions to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India in this connection.

In its order, chairman Aftab Alam and members Kuldip Singh and B B Srivastava said after hearing TRAI counsel Saket Singh on the questions addressed to the authority, “We take it to mean that TRAI does not wish any extension of the suspension of the judgment”.

Answering the main of the four questions, Singh had told the Tribunal that the consultation paper dated 29 January 2016 under the caption 'Tariff issues relating to TV services' was part of an ongoing process which is undertaken by TRAI from time to time based on its assessment of the relevant issues in the sector. The exercise is undertaken independently though it may cover some of the issues highlighted in the tribunal’s judgment dated 7 December.

The tribunal also noted that though the IBF had made the application for extension, it was 'apparent' from the hearings that took place on the previous dates that some of the major broadcasters 'have divergent views not only inter-se but also at variance with the position taken the foundation in as much as none of the broadcasters has asked for any extension of the period of suspension of the judgment.' The extension of the suspension of the judgment was primarily sought on the plea that following the judgment, TRAI had issued a consultation paper that intends to review the regulatory framework for the broadcasting sector.

Naming the broadcasters – Star India, Taj TV, IndiaCast, and MSM who are all members of IBF, the tribunal said” “it appears that at least on the issue of enforcement or further suspension of the judgment, the foundation is not in a position to represent the collective views of all its members. We, therefore, see no reason to entertain the application on behalf of the foundation for any further suspension of the judgment.The application is turned down.” The tribunal directed the remaining cases in the batch to come up on 8 April.

Expectedly, the judgment will also help the Hinduja Group’s HITS platform NXT Digital, which entered into the fray earlier this year.

In the judgment of 7 December, the Tribunal had directed both Star and Taj, as well as the other broadcasters who have joined the proceedings as intervenors to issue fresh RIOs in compliance with the Interconnect Regulations, as explained in the judgment within one month from the date this order becomes operational and effective. It had said it would be then open to NSTPL to execute fresh interconnect agreements with Star and Taj, and with any other broadcasters on the basis of their respective RIOs or on negotiated terms within the limits.

The tribunal said: "It is difficult to see a HITS operator as different from a pan-India MSO and in our considered view a HITS operator, in regard to the commercial terms for an interconnect arrangement has to be taken at par with a pan-India MSO and must, therefore, receive the same treatment."

The tribunal had noted that Star and Taj will have to execute fresh interconnect agreements with the petitioner within two weeks from the date of issuance of their fresh RIOs. The agreement with Star would relate back to 30 October 2015 and with Taj to 30 June 2015. The issuance of the fresh RIOs by the broadcasters will also give right to other distributors of channels with whom the broadcasters may be in interconnect agreement to have their agreements modified in terms of clause 13.2A.7.

NSTPL had executed an RIO based agreement with Media Pro. At that time, it did not complain before the tribunal that it was being forced into the RIO based agreement even though it had ample opportunity to do so as the Media Pro application was pending before the tribunal. Later on, after Media Pro ceased to be an agent of the broadcasters, NSTPL, even after filing the present petition, signed RIO based agreements with both Star and Taj. The agreement with Star was for the period upto 30 July, 2015 and the two agreements with Taj were upto 31 March, 2015.

The Tribunal had also said that NSTPL must therefore be held bound by those agreements till the periods of those agreements and further, three months beyond that in terms of clause 8 of the Interconnect agreement. After those dates (29 October in case of Star and 30 June in case of Taj) the arrangement will be governed by the fresh agreements.

Latest Reads

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/06/22/NK%20Sinha.jpg?itok=Ykw-CyCz
NK Sinha moves to I&B, Garg & Sundarajan are economic affairs & telecom secys

MUMBAI: The Indian government, in a crucial move, has announced that the senior Bihar cadre IAS officer and culture secretary N K Sinha will take over as the secretary in the ministry of information and broadcasting. Sinha will take over in the ministry headed by union minister M Venkaiah Naidu...

Regulators I&B Ministry
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/06/22/Untitled-1.jpg?itok=4nWuJZf5
Gender issues: BBC & UNICEF join community radio stations

NEW DELHI: ‘Full On Nikki’, a unique youth show with special focus on gender issues among young adults and adolescents, has commenced broadcast on Panjab University (PU)’s community radio Radio -- Jyotirgamaya 91.2MHz and 24 other CRS in different parts of the country. Though created and developed...

Regulators I&B Ministry
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/06/10/Trai800.jpg?itok=GdaUHLXq
Star India case questioning TRAI jurisdiction over content postponed

MUMBAI: Unmindful of the Supreme Court directive to dispose of the case in four weeks, the hearing of the dispute between Star India and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) in the Madras High Court has been postponed to 27 June.

Regulators TRAI
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/06/09/GST.jpg?itok=2_74fRPU
Maharashtra CM supports film industry's demand for 18% GST

Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has assured the film industry that he will support the demand to lower the GST rate to 18% in the forthcoming GST Council meeting. At the same time, the state government also agreed to rationalise any additional entertainment tax likely to be imposed by...

Regulators I&B Ministry
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/06/09/Shaktikanta-Das.jpg?itok=7xxuNm7B
FDI proposals in print, broadcasting to be cleared by MIB; satellites by DoS

MUMBAI: 5 June, 2017. That’s the date the Indian government announced that all foreign  direct investment (FDI) proposals  relating to the print and broadcast sector will be approved by the ministry of information and broadcasting (MIB). Approvals for proposals relating to satellite and telecom...

Regulators I&B Ministry
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/06/08/naidu.jpg?itok=LBW9vkWP
MIB scheme evaluation: Tenders invited from Chrome DM, IMRB & Nielsen etc

Offers have been invited by the information and broadcasting ministry for the evaluation of its schemes from 11 short-listed agencies which include Chrome and IMRB.

Regulators I&B Ministry
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/06/06/radio-city.jpg?itok=GrORG891
Radio City reports higher numbers

India FM Radio company Music Broadcast Limited (MBL) or Radio City reported higher revenue and improved profits for the year ended 31 March 2017 (FY-17, current year and fiscal) as compared to the previous year. The company reported 14.8 percent higher total revenue for the current fiscal at Rs 2,...

Regulators I&B Ministry
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/06/06/chne_0.jpg?itok=9ka0GVii
Number of TV channels reaches 882 - far from target, 10 entrants in past quarter

India now has a total of 882 functional private television channels (as on 31 May 2017) which is way short of the claim made last year that the country will have 1500 channels by the end of March this year.

Regulators I&B Ministry
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/06/06/TRAI1.jpg?itok=o-ItSJDJ
TRAI aids consumers assess data quality, recommends year-long packs

MUMBAI: TRAI has launched five apps including -- MyCall, MySpeed and Do Not Disturb (DND 2.0) — to help subscribers assess call and data quality, and has sent an advisory to telcos to offer one-year data packs -- only. Besides, TRAI has also upgraded its 'Do Not Disturb' app with additional new...

Regulators TRAI

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories