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Dish TV appeals to govt against MTV, Nick

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MUMBAI: Subhash Chandra’s DTH service Dish TV has upped the ante by invoking government help in getting those TV channels on board who have refused to do so till now.

Dish TV’s wrath has been particularly directed at MTV and Nick with which the former has been fighting a legal battle since last year.

In a letter to the information and broadcasting ministry, Dish TV has petitioned that despite sector regulator’s directive on making available content to all platforms and a favourable judgement from disputes tribunal TDSAT, the “conduct of MTV” has been “clearly in violation” of the interconnection regulation of 2004.

Dish TV’s parent ASC Enterprises has contended despite carrying on commercial negotiations with MTV Networks India for several months, the content provider and its distributors in India (One Alliance) have stalled any fruitful conclusion of such talks.

The Dish TV letter to the government states, “We would request you to take cognizance of the consistent refusal of MTV Networks to provide the channels, MTV and Nick, on our DTH platform and non-compliance of the interconnect regulation of Trai (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India)
and the order of TDSAT before the registration certificate for downlinking of (the) channels is granted to the broadcaster.”

The government while acknowledging the letter from Dish said it hasn’t taken a view on the issue yet.

In a related development, an executive of Dish TV said it will be “placing the execution appeal” at the TDSAT within few days.

Contacted by Indiantelevision.com, MTV senior vice-president, network development South Asia (licensing and merchandising) Sanjeev Hiremath, refused to comment saying the matter relating to Dish TV was subjudice.

A spokesperson for Discovery-Sony joint venture One Alliance today said that negotiations with Dish TV have been continuing fruitfully and are "likely to be concluded in a few days time."

ASC Enterprises, the DTH licence holder for Dish TV, had moved TDSAT in 2005 against MTV’s refusal to provide its channels for the DTH platform.

Early this year, TDSAT directed MTV to make available its channels to Dish TV on a commercial basis within 30 days by 10 March, 2006.

MTV Networks appealed against the TDSAT order in the Supreme Court, which admitted the appeal, but did not stay the disputes tribunal’s order.

During the last hearing on 9 May, the apex court said the case would be taken up again on 12 July after the summer recess.

Dish TV has also moved the TDSAT against Star India on similar grounds of noncompliance of interconnect regulations.

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