The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has directed Tata Sky to pay Zee Turner the total outstanding amount due of around Rs 9 crore or face disconnection. The sum amounts for the period between September 2006 and April 23, 2007, during which Tata Sky aired 32 channels of Zee Turner at the rate of Rs 75 per subscriber per month, as was fixed by TDSAT.
Tata Sky wanted to take only 19 channels of Zee Turner for distribution from its platform, whereas Zee Turner asked Tata Sky to carry all of its 32 channels in accordance with an earlier TDSAT judgment. Tata Sky was not willing to distribute all the 32 channels and thereby it approached TDSAT.
In its final judgment on March 31 this year, TDSAT accepted the contention of Tata Sky and held that the DTH service provider could carry 19 channels of Zee Turner, comprised in bouquet-I and bouquet-II, at the rate Rs 42 per subscriber per month. Tata Sky discontinued and removed the balance 13 channels of Zee Turner from its DTH platform with effect from April 23 this year. Zee Turner then appealed to the Supreme Court against the TDSAT judgment.
A rate of Rs 75 per subscriber per month for 32 channels of Zee Turner to be aired by Tata Sky was then determined by TDSAT. Tata Sky refused to pay and instead agreed to pay Rs 42 per subscriber per month for 32 channels.
Tata Sky again approached the TDSAT on July 13 this year to get a refund for the amount of Rs 75 per subscriber per month that they were earlier made to pay, which, according to them, was in excess of what they were supposed to pay. The TDSAT, after hearing both the parties on July 14, dismissed Tata Sky’s petition. Tata Sky then requested TDSAT to allow them two weeks’ time to make the payment of the entire outstanding amount.
TDSAT has granted two weeks’ time to Tata Sky to make the entire outstanding payment, failing which Zee Turner shall be at liberty to take action, including deactivation of its channels to Tata Sky.