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TDSAT: Hathway agrees to pay fee of Rs 14.6 crore to MSM Media Distribution

MUMBAI: Multi-system operator (MSO) Hathway Cable & Datacom has agreed before the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) to pay MSM Media Distribution (MSMMD) the subscription dues amounting to Rs 14.56 crore (Rs 145.6 million) till 31 October 2015, the date the agreement between the two expires.

“The respondent (Hathway) has assured the petitioners (MSMMD) that it will follow the terms and conditions of the MOU till 31.10.2015, the date of expiry of the MOU. This satisfies the cause of action for the petition,” TDSAT said in its order.

Earlier, MSMMD had filed two separate recovery petitions in the TDSAT. While one was for Phase I cities, the other was for Phase II and analogue cable TV markets.

MSMMD, which distributes channels like Sony Entertainment Television, SAB TV, Max, Max 2, Pix, AXN, Six and Kix, has a running deal with Hathway in Phase I cities till 31 October 2015. The deal between MSMMD and Hathway for the rest of the country expired on 31 March 2015.

While the hearing for the second recovery petition is yet to take place, in the Phase I case Hathway’s counsel has assured MSMMD in TDSAT that the MSO will follow the terms and conditions of the MoU (memorandum of understanding) signed between the two parties and will make payment of Rs 14.56 crore (dues admitted by Hathway) in three equal installments. The amount will be payable on 31 August, 30 September and 31 October of 2015.

MSMMD had to move the TDSAT after not getting any response from Hathway to the many notices it sent.

“They haven’t paid us for almost seven months now. The total dues outstanding is close to Rs 60 crore (Rs 600 million). We have been waiting patiently. While DAS Phase I contract is still there, for Phase II the contract expired on 31 March 2015. This was not renewed and even the money never came. So after waiting a lot, we decided to switch off signals to Hathway in Phase II,” MSMMD EVP – sales and marketing Makarand Palekar told TelevisionPost.com.

Palekar added that Hathway wanted to move MSM channels and put them on a la carte from 13 August. The MSO had a fixed fee contract and is trying to move out of it before the deal period is over.

“TDSAT has taken a strong view that if you have a contract, you cannot come out of it. Whatever money has been committed to MSMMD, Hathway will have to pay it. So now they have given us the undertaking that they will give us the money for Phase I in three instalments,” Palekar noted.

Palekar confirmed that MSM has switched off its signals to the MSO in Phase II and analogue areas, while in Phase I the signals are on as the contract is till 31 October.

It is learnt that Hathway is not showing the MSM channels in Delhi and multiple areas of Mumbai.

Hathway MD and CEO Jagdish Kumar was not reachable till the filing of this report.