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TDSAT cautions Digicable against signal piracy in Ahmedabad

MUMBAI: The Telecom Disputes Settlement & Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has cautioned multi-system operator (MSO) Digicable Network India not to indulge in any unauthorised transmission of signals in Ahmedabad.

Hearing a petition filed by GTPL Hathway, the tribunal also clarified that if in future the MSO made any unauthorised transmission of signals in Ahmedabad, it would have to face stringent legal consequences. The petition was disposed of with these observations.

GTPL Hathway had alleged that Digicable was transmitting signals of Star India, IndiaCast Media Distribution, Multi Screen Media (MSM) and Taj Television India in Ahmedabad even though it did not have any interconnect agreement with any of the parties. The four broadcasters are respondents in the matter.

It also alleged that Digicable had won over two of its affiliate local cable operators (LCOs) to its side. It substantiated the allegations by a CD recording.

Star India counsel Arjun Natarajan stated that the broadcaster currently did not have any interconnect agreement with Digicable and it was making an in-house investigation whether the MSO was indulging in piracy of its signals in Ahmedabad.

IndiaCast and MSM counsel Kunal Tandon stated that though the two broadcasters had received requests from Digicable for grant of signals in Ahmedabad, agreements were yet to be formalised and both respondents had given ‘cease and desist’ notices to Digicable.

Taj Television counsel Upender Thakur stated that the TV channel distributor had instituted an FIR against Digicable for alleged piracy of its signals in Ahmedabad.

Digicable counsel Diggaj Pathak stated that the MSO had requested all the aforesaid broadcasters for supply of their respective signals. He, however, admitted that so far there had been no formal agreement with any of the four broadcasters.

He also denied that Digicable was transmitting the signals of any of the four broadcasters in Ahmedabad. He added that in order to test the signals, the MSO did run some test transmissions from its Delhi headend after duly informing all the four respondents.