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Delhi HC directs STAR TV to unbundle sale of channels

25-May-2004
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Delhi HC directs STAR TV to unbundle sale of channels

A short term order has been passed by Delhi High Court today in response to a writ petition filed by cable operator Rakesh Datta, Director, Globe Scan, New Delhi, who had appealed before the High Court on May 18, 2004 for the restoration of signals by STAR TV on an a-la-carte basis.

As per the complaint, the petitioner alleged that STAR India Pvt. Ltd was resorting to bundled sale of channels which robbed the consumers of a choice of selecting individual channels. This was done by following the pricing policy in which a bundle of seven channels was sold for Rs 30 per subscriber. If the cable operator flashed the viewer who chose to see any one channel from the bouquet of STAR, the price was Rs 29 per channel. This pricing policy of the channel was challenged by Datta along with the Residents Welfare Association (RWA) of Pamposh Enclave, South Delhi.

The court has further directed the Telecom Dispute Settlement Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) to look into the matter for deciding the pricing of bundled versus a-la-carte rates in a manner which protects the right of consumer.

Now, in a fresh petition to be filed before TDSAT, RWA is also planning to challenge the excessive time allotted to commercials on pay channels on the ground that when they are paying a premium to watch an a-la-carte channel it is unfair fair for them to be forced to view these commercials.

STAR India preferred not to comment on these issues when contacted.

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