The Supreme Court has refused to give an interim relief to Zee Turner, which had sought a stay on broadcast tribunal TDSAT’s order that allowed direct-to-home operator Tata Sky to drop 13 of its channels. While challenging the correctness and validity of the TDSAT order, Zee Turner said that Tata Sky was bound to carry all its 32 channels on its DTH service for 50 per cent of the cable TV rate.
A senior spokesperson appearing for Zee contended that Tata Sky, which is a joint venture of Tata and STAR India, was virtually managed and run by Zee’s rival Star TV that did not want all Zee channels to be carried.
“This was affecting our TRP ratings and our market value. We want Tata Sky to carry all our 32 channels and not only 19 channels, without paying anything,” said the spokesperson from Zee.
Tata Sky’s counsel spokesperson said, “Tata Sky was not bound to carry all Zee Turner channels in five bouquets, including four channels of Turner International and all Zee Telefilms channels.” As is known, Zee Turner is a joint venture of Zee and Turner International, which distributes Zee and other channels.
According to the Zee spokesperson, as per the existing licence conditions and Telecom Regulations Authority of India (TRAI) stipulations, Tata Sky was bound to carry signals of all channels in order to give a choice to consumers. However, Tata Sky is only carrying 113 channels and has a capacity to carry at least 70 more channels.