Kashish News gives representation to TRAI on calculation of carriage fee for regional channels

MUMBAI: Kashish Developers, the owner of Hindi news channel Kashish News, has made a representation to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on the issue of calculation of carriage fee for a regional channel.

The broadcaster had moved TDSAT against direct to home (DTH) operator Tata Sky due to disconnection of its channel from the latter’s platform.

Kashish News, which mainly operates in Bihar and Jharkhand, has contended that the target area for any regional channel should be a particular region only for the purpose of charging carriage fees as a policy.

Since Tata Sky as a DTH platform has declared its target area to be Pan India, the news channel is facing difficulties on account of financial implications involved in agreeing to the DTH operator’s RIO agreement.

The channel’s main challenge before the TDSAT was the wisdom of the regulator in giving liberty to DTH operators to declare their target areas. In the facts of the case, the TDSAT noted that the issues relating to wisdom of the policy can be considered effectively only by the regulator.

Kashish Developers counsel submitted that the broadcaster has already approached TRAI with a representation filed on 29th June. The TDSAT disposed of the petition by stating that the TRAI is expected to dispose of the representation expeditiously in accordance with the law.

“In the aforesaid facts, the petition along with pending MAs is disposed of with liberty to the petitioner to pursue its representation. It will also be at liberty to file further representation, if required, with a copy of this order,” TDSAT said in its order.

The broadcaster was earlier having an agreement with Tata Sky under which its news channel was being distributed on the DTH platform.

In the previous hearing, Kashish Developers’ counsel contended that the target area for the petitioner’s news channels should confine to Bihar and Jharkhand then only it can survive otherwise it may lose on account of lack of Pan India penetration.

Learned counsel for Tata Sky had submitted that on a DTH platform the respondent has no option but to treat the target area even in respect of petitioner’s channels as a Pan India channel.

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