Hathway, which had not signed the Ten Sports agreement with Zee Turner, is now facing the heat. Zee Turner in the last 10 days has switched off Hathway’s major head ends in Mumbai, Delhi, Jaipur, Aurangabad, Kolhapur, Bhopal and Indore. It has also created a special anti-piracy squad that is keeping a close tab on these head ends against piracy of Ten Sports signals.
Zee Turner is a 74:26 joint venture between Essel Group and Turner International to distribute the Zee and Turner pay channel bouquets in India and neighbouring countries.
In a release issued on August 11, Zee Turner stated that a raid was conducted on August 10 by a court-appointed commissioner in close coordination with state police to bust the piracy operations of one of the major Hathway operating partners, Bhaskar Net, based in Bhopal and Indore.
The raid was conducted in the afternoon during which raiding officials were also ‘bashed up’ by Bhaskar Net’s staff, the release added. All the evidences of piracy and man-handling had been collected by the court-appointed commissioner and the same would be handed over to the Delhi High Court. Meanwhile, the equipment involved in piracy had also been seized in Bhopal.
The release further said that a complaint under Section 379 IPC had been lodged against Goyel, Managing Director, Bhaskar Net, and Jayraman, Managing Director, Hathway.
Confirming the development, a Zee Turner spokesperson was quoted in the release as saying, “We at Zee Turner will not allow any sort of unfair trade practices or unauthorised distribution of our channel signals. Any kind of piracy of our signals will not be tolerated and an appropriate action will be taken against any operator indulging in such malpractices. We are confident that these raids would send a strong message across the industry and other operators indulging in such practices will refrain from doing so.”