The spat between Tata Sky and ESPN might reach a conclusion with the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) allowing Tata Sky to beam ESPN’s channels on a la carte basis, based on the choice of the DTH operator’s customers and as per the rules and regulations. This apart, TDSAT also directed Tata Sky to pay the due amount to ESPN for all of its three channels till May 31 within 10 days.
TDSAT has, thus, relieved TataSky from an undertaking submitted before the Delhi High Court on June 6, 2008 where Tata Sky had stated that they would carry all channels of ESPN in the basic pack.
“The petitioner (Tata Sky) will continue to pay for the channels availed of by the subscribers of the petitioner (Tata Sky) as per the applicable regulations,” said Justice Arun Kumar, Chairman, TDSAT.
TRAI has fixed Rs 36 to be paid for availing all the three ESPN group channels – ESPN, Star Sports and Star Cricket.
In the undertaking, earlier submitted before the Delhi High Court in June, TataSky had said that it would restore all the three ESPN group channels in its basic package.
Meanwhile, TDSAT also directed Tata Sky to pay the due amount to ESPN for its three channels till May 31 within 10 days. ESPN is due to receive Rs 17 crore from Tata Sky with whom its subscription agreement expired on March 15, 2008.
TDSAT has directed the DTH operator and broadcaster to negotiate the terms and conditions on the issue of payment for the period of June and July.
The next hearing is slated for September 23, 2008.