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IBF, Videocon d2h allowed to implead in ‘twin conditions’ case for a la carte pricing

MUMBAI: The Telecom Disputes Settlement & Appellate Tribunal ( TDSAT) has allowed the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) and direct-to-home (DTH) operator Videocon d2h to file impleadment applications in broadcasting appeal no. 2, which pertains to the ‘twin conditions’ clause of TRAI regulation for a la carte pricing.

IBF counsel Nittin Bhatia and Videocon d2h counsel Sandeep Ladda requested the tribunal to allow them to file impleadment application in this matter.

While allowing to file the application, the tribunal directed them to make available a copy of the same to ZEEL, the main petitioner in the case, and TRAI. The latter are directed to file their reply, if any, by the next date fixed.

Meanwhile, the tribunal granted ZEEL counsel Upender Thakur and Star India counsel Shilpa Gupta three weeks to file rejoinder to the reply filed by TRAI. The matter has been put up under the same head on 6 January.

In the earlier hearing, TRAI counsel Kirtiman Singh had objected to filing of pleadings in Broadcasting Appeal No. 2 of 2016. Singh will be filing reply as well as response on the maintainability of the same within 10 days. Through broadcasting appeal no. 2 of 2016, the broadcasters have challenged the twin conditions proposed by TRAI.

The ‘twin conditions’ notified by TRAI in December 2015 states that (a) the a la carte rate of a pay channel forming part of a bouquet shall not exceed two times its RIO rate offered by the broadcaster for addressable systems; and (b) the sum of a la carte rates of all the channels in the bouquet shall not exceed three times the bouquet rate.