Regulators

TDSAT rejects DD's interim measure for FreeDish

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/tv-images/2017/10/28/TDSAT-DD.jpg?itok=OGZDFB6S

NEW DELHI: While giving relief to slot-holders on Doordarshan FreeDish, to ensure their continuity till the government decides its new policy over the next two months, the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Arbitration Tribunal (TDSAT) also rejected the interim formula proposed by Doordarshan in its letter to the main petitioner Cinema 24x7.

TDSAT chairman justice Shiva Keerti Singh, and members B B Srivastava and A K Bhargava said: “We find no good reason either from the submission or from the order of the respondent (Prasar Bharati) as to why the earlier direction and policy on pro-rata basis is being discontinued, that too when the respondents have claimed that a regular policy to replace the existing policy is likely to come within two months.”

The tribunal also rejected the submission by Prasar Bharati counsel Rajeev Sharma and additional solicitor general Tushar Mehta that no interim order was required in view of the order of Prasar Bharati of 27 October 2017.

The tribunal fixed the next date of hearing on 14 December 2017 and said that rejoinder if any by the broadcasters could be filed within two weeksafter the four weeks given to Prasar Bharati to file its reply.

The full text of the order of the tribunal was:

“To avoid undue hardship to the petitioners and possible discrimination vis-a-vis those who have been earlier granted continuity on pro-rata basis, we pass the following interim directions:

(i)  The petitioners or others similarly situated as them, who need continuity because of non-holding of the e-auction and have applied or apply for the same, shall  be allowed continuity on pro-rata basis.

(ii)  The respondent will be entitled to charge on pro-rata basis either on the basis of the highest bid amount or the reserved price whichever is higher.  We further clarify that the highest bid amount would mean the highest bid in that category in the preceding year.

(iii) This interim order will not create any right or equity in favour of anyone and the arrangement shall come to end as soon the central government declares its new general policy and take steps to fill up the slots in accordance with such policy.  It is clarified that it will not be open for any petitioner or other operator to claim any right to continue on the basis of such interim arrangement.

(iv) The benefit of this interim arrangement shall be made available to the willing petitioners and other similarly situated operators at once and in any case within three days of their approaching the concerned respondent with an application.

All the petitions are admitted.”

The tribunal also analysed the proposed interim formula proposed by Doordarshan. It said “In the final analysis, the order declares the stand of the respondent with regard to “interim measures” in the following words:

“Now therefore in view of above, DD can as an interim measure follow a model on the pattern of FM auction policy of the government for two months or till the central government policy is made, whichever is earlier for the channels which are going to be off the air, on completion of their contract period may be offered continuity of operation at the highest bid amount for any of the channels auctioned in the past, together with revenue sharing at the rate of 50 per cent of the gross profit or 4 per cent of the gross revenue or 2.5 per cent of upfront highest bid amount whichever is higher.  This system, as an interim arrangement, should be operated on first come first served basis if the terms and conditions of the short duration extension are acceptable to the existing contract holder.

The interim arrangement / measure is irrespective of and notwithstanding the contents of the proceedings pending before the hon’ble tribunal and / or any other proceedings, if any, this interim measure will not create any right or equity in favour of anyone and shall come to end automatically upon the central government declaring its policy or after two months whichever is earlier and it will not be open for any operator to claim any right to continue or any other right based upon such an interim measure.”

Sharma and Mehta had made it clear during arguments that this formula was akin to the formula applied in the FM Radio auctions.

Apart from Cinema 24x7 which runs WoW Cinema and News Nation Network Pvt Ltd who had filed the case,  four other petitioners joined the case yesterday with fresh petitions: Enterr 10 TV Pvt Ltd, B4U Broadband India Pvt Ltd,  Independent News Service Pvt Ltd, and ABP News Network Pvt Ltd.

These broadcasters filed either because of their channels having either gone off the air or the likelihood that they will go off air very soon due to efflux of time leading to expiry of the annual agreement and a decision by the respondent not to hold the 37th e-Auction till further orders. The letter to Cinema 24x7 itself noted that some channels are going off air this month and some in February next year.

The tribunal was informed in September by Prasar Bharati that the e-Auction was put on hold because a new policy was under contemplation and the pubcaster wanted to take steps for filling the slots falling vacant in terms of the new policy.

The tribunal noted that: “The petitioners have no quarrel with the stand and they are not opposed to the respondent taking steps for filling up the slots on regular basis as per their new policy as and when it is formulated and implemented. Their grievance is that such producers who have been enjoying slots on the basis of their offer in the auction should not be thrown out of their vocation and the public should not be deprived of their channel because of there being no policy in the interregnum.  They are against such state of vacuum”.

Latest Reads

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/07/23/anurag-thakur-01.jpg?itok=8RoMnI59
I&B ministry may adopt TV rating committee's recommendations : Anurag Thakur

The ministry of information and broadcasting (I&B) has analysed and evaluated the recommendations made by the committee led by Prasar Bharti chief executive officer Shashi Shekhar Vempati to review the current guidelines on TV rating agencies in India.

Regulators I&B Ministry
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/07/19/parliamentary.jpg?itok=6zxZCahI
Parliament's Monsoon Session to begin from today

The monsoon session of the Parliament is all set to begin on Monday. The session will conclude on August 13. It will also be the first session for some of the newly inducted Cabinet ministers, including Anurag Thakur who was recently sworn in as the information and broadcasting minister.

Regulators I&B Ministry
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/07/17/photogrid_plus_1626517044583.jpg?itok=pFPjCvu2
NBA challenges amended Cable TV rules in Kerala High Court

New Delhi: The Kerala high court has directed the ministry of information and broadcasting (I&B) not to take any coercive action against members of the News Broadcasters Association (NBA) over non-compliance with the Cable TV Act. The court issued the orders on a plea filed by the NBA which...

Regulators High Court
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/07/14/vikram-sahay.jpg?itok=kOuhkFPW
Digital Media Ethics Code will make publishers accountable: I&B Jt Secy Vikram Sahay

As the government’s stand-off with a few social media companies continues over the new IT rules, ministry of information and broadcasting joint secretary Vikram Sahay said that Digital Media Ethics Code is aimed at addressing the grievances of the common man, and should be viewed as a ‘citizen-...

Regulators I&B Ministry
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/07/12/bhau.jpg?itok=WRuuJLGj
New IT rules will empower and protect social media users: Ashwini Vaishnaw

The new IT rules will empower and protect users and ensure a safer social media ecosystem, said the union IT and communications minister Ashwini Vaishnaw who recently took charge of the ministry post the cabinet reshuffle.

Regulators I&B Ministry
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/07/10/sc.jpg?itok=Iel60RAC
SC to hear Centre’s plea on new IT Rules on 16 July

The Supreme Court on Friday refused to stay the proceedings in connection with petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Centre's new IT rules before various high courts.

Regulators Supreme Court
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/07/09/ibf.jpg?itok=iHpct6PH
I&B ministry registers BCCC as Level II self-regulatory body under amended Cable TV rules

The ministry of information and broadcasting (I&B) has registered the Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC) as a self-regulatory body for redressal of grievances against the non-news television channels under the Cable TV Networks (Amendment) Rules, 2021 notified recently.

Regulators I&B Ministry
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/07/07/hc.jpg?itok=-0TSQtNI
Centre moves SC seeking transfer of pleas challenging IT rules

The Centre on Tuesday approached Supreme Court seeking transfer of all pending pleas challenging its new IT rules to the apex court. Numerous petitions challenging the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, are currently pending in various high...

Regulators I&B Ministry
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/07/01/trai.jpg?itok=BkBAx9YI
NTO 2.0 verdict: Who wins what?

One of the major issues that has dominated the pay TV ecosystem in India is in constant conflict between stakeholders and the sector regulator, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai).  With the Bombay high court pronouncing its verdict on the amended new tariff order matter, one of the...

Regulators TRAI

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories

* indicates required