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TDSAT allows carriage and placement fees

The tribunal also sets aside the direction that MSOs must set up head-ends having carrying capacity of 500 channels

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | October 22, 2012

Just ahead of the cable TV digitization deadline for the four metros, the Telecom Disputes Settlement & Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has set aside the restrictions on MSOs by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on placement fee, number of channels and carriage fee. Comparing cable with DTH, the tribunal observed that MSOs can charge placement fee from broadcasters for keeping their channels in a particular slot and TRAI’s regulation to curb it was “bad in law”.

According to the judgement, placement charges, if any, will depend upon the mutual agreement between individual broadcasters and individual MSOs.

Besides, the tribunal has also set aside the direction that MSOs must set up head-ends having carrying capacity of 500 channels. The judgement said: “If the market forces play an important and significant role in the matter of carrying capacity of the MSO, the same may not be required to be regulated.”

However, TDSAT has upheld certain broadcast regulatory clauses allowing customers to select a combination of 100 free-to-air channels for basic plan. The tribunal also largely consented with the tariff order and regulation of TRAI. It also gave a go-ahead to TRAI’s revenue sharing mechanism between the Local/Area cable operators and the Multi-System Operators.

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