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Pay channels barred from charging non-viewers

09-November-2000
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Pay channels barred from charging non-viewers

In an order which has caught the broadcasting industry napping, The Andhra Pradesh High Court has restrained all pay channels operating in the country from charging subscription fees for those channels which consumers do not want to subscribe to. Cable networks are wondering whether they should collect subscription revenues for pay channels, and how they are to get consumers to indicate their choice. The order has reopened the debate for the need for the government creating an addressible national cable network where the consumer has a choice in deciding and paying for the channels he wants to receive on his TV set. The public interest petition filed by one S Subbarami Reddy against the Union information and broadcasting ministry, Prasar Bharti and Doordarshan, and including the major pay channel networks like Star TV, Sony Entertainment Television, ESPN and Turner Broadcasting, has demanded that pay channel collections should be stopped under Section 151 of the Civil Procedure Code.

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