Regulators

TRAI landing page norms stayed till 22 December 2017

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NEW DELHI: The direction on landing page norms issued by the Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRAI) of India has been stayed till 22 December 2017 following an appeal in the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT).

Even as the tribunal admitted the petitions for hearing, it said: “Since there is a prayer for stay of the impugned direction dated 8 November 2017 issued by TRAI, let the matter be listed on 22 December 2017 under the head “for orders” to consider that prayer in light of the reply of the respondent.”

“Till then, the impugned direction shall not be given effect to,” it added further.

Chairman Shiva Keerti Singh and members B B Srivastava and A K Bhargava gave TRAI two weeks’ time for filing the reply. Further time of two weeks is granted to the appellants to file the rejoinder.

On November 8, TRAI had issued a direction to all broadcasters and distributors of television channels to not place any registered satellite television channel. TRAI had said the orders would be implemented within 15 days.

The direction was challenged in TDSAT by Bennett Coleman and Company Limited (BCCL), Den Networks Limited (Den), All India Digital Cable Federation (AIDCF), Fastway Transmission Private Limited, and Satellite Channels Private Limited.

Den has appealed that the “impugned direction issued by the respondent, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, are beyond the jurisdiction of the authority as given to it under TRAI Act.” It further said that the TRAI direction was curtailing the “freedom of the distributor of TV channels to position the channels over their network”.

TRAI had said in its November 8 direction that it had been repeatedly brought to the authority’s attention by various stakeholders that satellite TV channels are placed on the landing page and this practise was influencing the television audience measurements/television ratings.

TRAI in its direction had also concluded that “this practice may affect the orderly growth of the sector and is against the spirit of the policy guidelines for TV rating agencies.”

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