TDSAT has stayed the disconnection notice issued by Neo Sports to Tata Sky and has asked the DTH operator to deposit Rs 2 crore with the sports broadcaster. “Tata Sky is directed to deposit Rs 2 crore within two weeks. The impugned notice of September 12, 2008, stands dismissed,” said a TDSAT Bench headed by Justice Arun Kumar while passing an interim order.
The TDSAT on September 18 had issued a notice to Neo Sports on a petition filed by Tata Sky seeking a stay over any possible disconnection of signals by the sports channel.
Admitting the petition, a TDSAT Bench headed by Justice Kumar directed Neo Sports to file its reply by September 23. Tata Sky, an 80:20 JV between Tata and Star, had submitted that the disconnection notice by Neo Sports was not valid as it was given under Clause 4.3 of the Interconnect Regulation instead of Clause 4.1, which dealt with provisions of disconnection.
TDSAT also noted that the disconnection notice was issued by Neo Sports on September 11, 2008, and since it had not completed the mandatory 21-day period, there was no need for any interim relief as sought by Tata Sky.
After a dispute arose between the two parties over the mode of payment, Neo Sports had issued a public notice on September 12, 2008, to disconnect its signals. The sports broadcaster has been claiming a due amount of around Rs 3.27 crore from Tata Sky.
Earlier, Tata Sky and Neo Sports Broadcast had entered into an agreement for five years and the DTH operator was to pay Rs 19.37 lakh monthly for two channels of the broadcaster – Neo Sports and Neo Sports Plus.
Neo Sports had argued that since the DTH operator had not signed the RIO, it should pay the subscription charges as per the old agreement signed by both parties.
TDSAT notice to Neo Sports on Tata Sky petition regarding disconnection of signals