Arnab Goswami’s ARG Outlier moves TDSAT against MSO Skynet Digital

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MUMBAI: Arnab Goswami’s ARG Outlier Media Asianet has moved Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) against multi system operator (MSO) Skynet Digital Services for allegedly displacing its channel Republic TV from the landing page.

The broadcaster submitted that in spite of a subsisting agreement and Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) relevant directions permitting its channel on the landing LCN till 31st May, its channel was arbitrarily displaced and on occasions was replaced with another channel on the landing LCN.

This, it stated, is contrary to the order of TRAI dated 3th December 2018.

The MSO appeared on advance notice. Skynet’s counsel submitted that there was some disturbance to the placement of petitioner’s channel due to technical reasons but the MSO is obliged to continue the broadcaster’s channel on the landing LCN till law permits or till the agreement subsists.

As prayed, the TDSAT granted two weeks time to the MSO to file a short reply to support the aforesaid submission. The matter has been posted under the same head on 20th May.

In March, the TRAI had extended the implementation of landing page direction by two months following a request by the All India Digital Cable Federation (AIDCF). The deadline has now been pushed to 31st May from 31st March.

The authority had received representation from AIDCF requesting the extension of implementation for a further period of two months in view of the appeal against the direction pending before the TDSAT and its hearing and/or pronouncement of an order may go beyond the cut-off date of 31st March 2019.

Since the matter is under judicial consideration, the AIDCF stated that any action on the said direction will not only be prejudicial to their right and contentions but also against the principle of natural justice.

The authority considered the representation of AIDCF and observed that there is merit in the request under given circumstances as well as in the interest of fairness.

As reported earlier, the TDSAT has reserved the order in the landing page matter after the arguments concluded. The AIDCF, Bennett Coleman & Company Ltd (BCCL), and multi system operator (MSO) JPR Channel had challenged the TRAI’s landing page direction in TDSAT.


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