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Sun TV-Tata Sky row: Madras High Court grants interim stay against TDSAT directive

10-April-2007
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Sun TV-Tata Sky row: Madras High Court grants interim stay against TDSAT directive

The ongoing legal wrangle between the Kalanidhi Maran-promoted Sun TV and Tata Sky Ltd took a dramatic turn with the Madras High Court granting an interim injunction against the Telecom Disputes Settlement Appellate Tribunal’s recent directive which stated that Sun TV should provide feeds to Tata Sky within three days. The Madras High Court issued the order after Sun Network moved the Court against TDSAT’s order. The injunction was passed by single judge of the Madras High Court, Justice Mohan Ram.

Speaking exclusively to exchange4media about the Court’s interim order, Anil Kumaar, General Counsel, Sun TV Ltd, said, “On April 3, TDSAT passed an order asking us to give signals to Tata Sky. On April 5, we moved the Madras High Court, filed a repetition and got an interim stay against that order of TDSAT. Therefore, Sun Network is not bound to comply with the orders of TDSAT.”

He added, “This fact is being suppressed and they are making it look like as though we are violating the order of the court.”

As he showed some articles published in a section media, Kumaar said, “The facts are being suppressed. Even TDSAT is aware of the order of the Madras High Court,” he claimed.

It maybe recalled Tata Sky, which is a 80:20 JV between Tata and STAR network, had moved the tribunal accusing the broadcaster of refusing supply of its bouquet of channels. The direct-to-home player approached the disputes forum after repeated requests to provide the signals of the channels of Sun’s bouquet of channels on “non-discriminatory terms” proved futile.

Later TDSAT had directed Sun TV to give its signals to Tata Sky on a la carte basis. However, the channel filed a review application before the tribunal contending that it had no channels to offer on a la carte basis and that it has a bouquet of only 20 channels.

Last week, Tata Sky approached TDSAT again, following which, Sun TV was ordered to provide feeds within three days. That deadline expired on April 6.

Meanwhile, the order by the Madras High Court would come as a surprise for many watching this battle keenly for sometime now. For Tata Sky, it could be a major jolt in its effort to get Sun TV’s feed.

Sun TV would also soon enter into DTH space soon. The South India media giant recently forged a joint venture with the Malaysia-based Astro All Asia Network Plc to provide DTH services in India.

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