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MSM-Hathway embroiled in row over pirated signals

The MSM-Hathway fight has further intensified with MSM accusing Hathway of allegedly shifting its channels out of the Electronic Programme Guide, which is leading to piracy in DAS 2 and analogue areas

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Mumbai | August 31, 2015

hatway-MSM

The MSM Distribution and Hathway Cable & Datacom fight further intensified with MSM accusing Hathway of allegedly shifting its channels out of the Electronic Programme Guide (EPG), which is leading to piracy in DAS 2 and analogue areas. MSM raised this allegation at a TDSAT hearing on August 26, 2015.

The matter was brought before Justice Aftab Alam (TDSAT Chairperson) and Kuldip Singh.

According to a TDSAT order, advocate Arun Kathpalia, the counsel for Hathway, made a statement that MSM channels in DAS 1 areas were available on the EPG and in DAS 2 and analogue areas, and that Hathway was not making any unauthorised transmission of the petitioner’s channels. The MSO denied the piracy allegations. Kathpalia stated that in regard to the EPG in DAS 1 areas and piracy in DAS 2 and analogue areas, he would file an affidavit on behalf of the respondent (Hathway) within a week’s time.

Makarand Palekar Makarand Palekar

Speaking to BestMediaInfo.com, Makarand Palekar, EVP – Sales and Marketing, MSM Media Distribution, said, “We are filing a Rs 56 crore suit against Hathway. After the last TDSAT order, wherein they had agreed to pay Rs 14.56 crore outstanding fees, we too had an undertaking that we’ll give our signals on RIO/ a la carte basis in DAS 1 areas. However, they illegally shifted our channels out of EPG, which led to our signals being pirated in DAS 2 and anolgue areas. We conducted raids in 6-7 areas and offenders were booked in areas like Pune and Odisha.”

He further said, “Not only did Hathway take our signals out of EPG in DAS areas, their call centre executives too have been misleading the subscribers. If they not been guilty, then why has their lawyer agreed to file an affidavit for the same. Such actions only prove that they have malafide intentions.”

On the other hand, a spokesperson from Hathway stressed that all allegations by MSM were baseless. The spokesperson, however, refused to divulge further details.

TDSAT directed Hathway to file its reply to the main petition within three weeks from August 26, 2015.

The matter will next come up for hearing on September 16, 2015.

As reported earlier, Hathway and MSM Distribution have been involved in a bitter battle over outstanding subscription dues. The MSO had stopped subscribing to MSM as it felt that MSM channels were faring poorly and hence, they sought a correction in the high subscription fees.

MSM’s contract with Hathway in DAS 2 and analogue areas expired on March 31, 2015. The outstanding fees for these areas are to the tune of Rs 45 crore. Following the expiry of the contract and Hathway not paying the dues, MSM had completely stopped its signals in Phase 2 and analogue areas.

TDSAT had earlier ordered Hathway to pay Rs.14 56 crore as outstanding dues (DAS 1 areas) in three instalments on August 31, September 30, and October 31.

Info@bestmediainfo.com

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