TDSAT has issued notices to distributors of Star and Sony groups of channels following a petition filed by Zee Group’s DishTV, seeking signals for its HITS distribution platform. The TDSAT bench headed by Justice Arun Kumar also directed Star Den and MSM Discovery, distributors of Star and Sony channels, respectively, to try to negotiate with DishTV.
The TDSAT direction came after two Zee Group firms – DishTV and Wire and Wireless India Ltd (WWIL) – approached the tribunal once again after getting a go-ahead from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting over downlinking of signals for Headend-in-the-Sky (HITS), their new cable distribution platform.
In its letter dated September 9, 2008, addressed to all broadcasters, I&B Ministry had clarified that by giving their signals to DishTV’s HITS service, they would not violate existing downlinking norms.
In August 2008, TDSAT had in its judgment in the case involving DishTV and Star Den and MSM Discovery had dismissed DishTV’s petition over signals being made available to the licencee of Headend-in-the-Sky (Hits) platforms on the ground of non-availability of uplinking and downlinking guidelines for the HITS platforms.
The broadcasters on their part had contended that they could not share signals with Zee’s HITS platform as the present downlinking guidelines permitted them to share their signals with registered cable operators and DTH and IPTV platforms only. However, the counsel for DishTV submitted that for the rollout of HITS, it had already hired satellite transponders and signals from other broadcasters.