ESPN on December 8, 2008, agreed to comply with the TRAI directive to provide its signals to Sun Direct at half the cable rates. With this ends the stand-off between the sports broadcaster and the DTH service provider.
ESPN replied to the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) on December 8 that it was now willing to abide by the TDSAT order on providing its signals to Sun Direct at half the cable rates as specified by TRAI.
The decision taken by ESPN has come as a surprise. When contacted, ESPN spokespersons refused to make any comments, saying ‘the matter is sub judice’.
Broadcast tribunal TDSAT had on November 24, 2008, directed sports broadcaster ESPN to provide its signals to DTH player Sun Direct at half the cable rates, as specified by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), to which the sports broadcaster protested that this could lead to losses.
Earlier, TRAI had recommended to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to suspend ESPN’s downlinking licence for its three channels – ESPN, Star Sports and Star Cricket – alleging that the company had violated pricing regulations by asking DTH operators to pay more than what it charged from non-CAS cable operators.
TDSAT directs ESPN to provide its signals to Sun Direct at half the cable rates as per TRAI