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TDSAT asks Dish TV-IndiaCast UTV to maintain status quo

MUMBAI: The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has asked content aggregator IndiaCast UTV and direct-to-home (DTH) operator Dish TV to maintain status quo.

In the meanwhile, the tribunal has asked Dish TV to make payment to Indiacast UTV of the admitted amount.

The DTH operator was to furnish, by 17 April, the SMS reports from their systems from 1 January 2014, to the respondent.

Furthermore, the tribunal has put the petition of both Dish TV and IndiaCast UTV for hearing on 23 April.

The DTH operator has been offering 22 IndiaCast UTV channels as part of special a la carte offer to its subscribers.

IndiaCast UTV’s principal argument is that Dish TV must pay on the basis of package price if the channels are provided to consumers as part of a package. Dish TV has, however, maintained that it is offering these channels on a la carte basis and at no cost to the subscribers.

In March, Dish TV had issued disconnection notices to 10 channels distributed by IndiaCast UTV, including CNBC-TV18 and IBN7 and some ETV regional channels, claiming low popularity. The content aggregator followed it up by issuing a disconnection notice for its remaining channels.

Both parties moved the TDSAT for relief against disconnection notices issued by them against each other.

The two parties have been at loggerheads with each other ever since the subscription deal came up for renewal.

The dispute began when Dish TV, as part of its larger strategy to reduce content cost, launched ‘on demand channels’ offer that allows subscribers to receive only those channels they want to subscribe.

The content aggregator was in no mood to blink first, leading to the current stand-off with the TDSAT being the favourite battleground.