TRAI extends deadline for submission of comments on landing page CP

MUMBAI: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has extended the deadline for receiving comments on the consultation paper on “Issues related to Placing of Television Channel on Landing Page”.

The authority said that the deadline for sending comments has been extended up to 4 May and 11 May respectively following requests by stakeholders. No requests for any further extension of time for submission of comments shall be entertained.

The authority had released the consultation paper on 3 April inviting written comments from the stakeholders by 20 April and counter comments, if any, from the stakeholders by 27 April.

The TRAI had said that the consultation paper has been issued with the aim to protect the interest of the consumers, to ensure fair growth of the sector, and to ensure unbiased TRP ratings raises various issues related to placement of television channels on landing page while providing an opportunity to all the stakeholders to deliberate on the issues and to provide comments/suggestions thereof.

The authority had issued a direction dated 8th November 2017 wherein all the broadcasters and distributors of television channels were directed to restrain from placing any registered satellite television channel, whose TV rating is released by TV rating agency, on the landing LCN or landing channel or boot up screen.

The direction was challenged by Bennet Coleman and Company Ltd (BCCL), All India Digital Cable Federation, DEN Networks, Fastway Transmission and Satellite Channels before the TDSAT. The petitioners had challenged the direction on the ground that the TRAI had not followed transparency in issuing the direction.

As per interim orders, the direction is not operative. As the primary ground of the said dispute was transparency, the authority conveyed its decision to reconsider the issue to TDSAT which was agreed to.

Recently, the TRAI had submitted before the TDSAT that the 8 November direction will be withdrawn in two weeks as a fresh consultation paper has been issued on the matter.

The tribunal made it clear that once the impugned directions are formally withdrawn, the matters will have to be treated as infructuous. Till then, the interim orders shall continue. The matter has been posted for hearing under the same head on 8 May.

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