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Broadcasters cannot apply RIO retrospectively: TDSAT

MUMBAI: Noting that clause 5.16 of digital addressable system (DAS) regulation has a lacuna, the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has passed an order stating that broadcasters cannot apply reference interconnect offer (RIO) rates on retrospective basis.

The order was passed in the Taj Television-Star India versus Hathway Cable & Datacom case.

The tribunal directed Hathway to pay Star India at Rs 27 charge per subscriber (CPS) (Entertainment channels @ Rs 23 CPS and sports channels @ Rs 4 CPS) and Rs 21.50 CPS to Taj Television (Zee-Turner) for the period from the date of expiry of the agreement till 30 September.

From 1 October, both Taj and Star channels (including Star Sports) will be available on RIO basis on Hathway.

Star and Taj had contended that the broadcasters were well within their rights to charge the outstanding amount based on RIO as clause 5.16 of DAS regulation allows broadcaster to apply RIO rates retrospectively.

Hathway, on the other hand, had argued that the broadcaster cannot apply RIO rates retrospectively for the outstanding dues and that it should rather be paid on the old agreement.

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