Broadcasting Petition No.574 of 2015 (M.A. Nos. 476 and 479 of 2015). Case: Karnataka State Digital Cable TV Operators Welfare Association, Bangalore, Karnataka Vs Den Network Ltd., New Delhi. TDSAT (Telecom Disputes Settlement & Appellate Tribunal)

Case NumberBroadcasting Petition No.574 of 2015 (M.A. Nos. 476 and 479 of 2015)
CounselFor Petitioner: Mr. Nittin Bhatia, Advocate and For Respondents: Mr. Vibhav Srivastava, Advocate and Mr. Gaurav Kaushik, Advocate
JudgesMr. Aftab Alam, Chairperson and Dr. Kuldip Singh, Member and Mr. B.B. Srivastava, Member
IssueMedia and Communicational Laws
Judgement DateFebruary 03, 2016
CourtTDSAT (Telecom Disputes Settlement & Appellate Tribunal)


These applications have been filed seeking a modification in the interim order passed by the Tribunal on 26.11.2015. A direction is sought to the Respondent to provide the members of the Petitioner 48 TV channels disconnected by it, on such terms and conditions as the Tribunal may deem fit. A list of these 48 channels is at Annexure 3 to the M.A. no. 476 of 2015.

The petitioner is an association of Local cable Operators (LCOs) operating in the state of Karnataka. The respondent is a Multi System Operator (MSO) in terms of the DAS regulations. The petitioner came to the tribunal on 19 October, 2015 seeking, inter-alia, a direction to the respondent not to arbitrarily increase the monthly subscription charges payable by the members of the petitioner association.

The controversy in the present petition arises due to introduction of DAS1 regime in Bangalore and the surrounding DAS areas of Karnataka. In the analogue regime, the normal practice was that LCOs paid a subscription fee for the TV signals to the MSOs that was based on their SLR2 and a negotiated deal. The LCOs billed and charged the subscribers and collected the amount. In case of the DAS regime, it is mandatory for the service providers to offer all paid TV channels on a-la-carte basis to the subscribers. They, however, can also offer bouquets of channels. The Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Services (Fourth) (Addressable Systems) Tariff Order, 2010 and the amendments to the same from time to time, prescribes how the charges collected from the subscribers will be shared between a MSO and a LCO in case the parties fail to arrive at a negotiated agreement. Proviso to the clause 5 Part II Wholesale Tariff in this regard is as under:

" Provided that in case the multi-system operator and the local cable operator fail to arrive at mutual agreement, the charges collected from the subscribers shall be shared in the following manner:-

(a) the charges collected from the subscription of channels of basic service tier, free to air channel and bouquet of free to air channels shall be shared in the ratio of 55:45 between multi-system operator and local cable operator respectively; and

(b) the charges collected from the subscription of channels or bouquet of channels or channels and bouquet of channels other than those specified under clause (a) shall be shared in the ratio of 65:35 between multi-system operator and local cable operator respectively."

It is the case of the...

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