TDSAT orders stay on TRAI's landing page direction till Dec 22

On November 8, TRAI had issued a direction to all broadcasters and distributors of television channels to not place any registered satellite television channel, whose rating is released by TV rating agency, on the landing LCN or boot up screen

by Nishant Saxena & Madhuwanti Saha
Published - Nov 23, 2017 2:16 PM Updated: Nov 23, 2017 2:16 PM

The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) directed the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to put a stay on its direction on landing page till December 22, the next date of hearing.

“Since there is a prayer for stay of the impugned direction dated 8.11.2017 issues by the respondent, let the matter be listed on 22.12.2017 under the head “for orders” to consider that prayer in light of the reply of the respondent,” the order read.

“However, till then, the impugned direction shall not be given effect to,” it further added.

On November 8, TRAI had issued a direction to all broadcasters and distributors of television channels to not place any registered satellite television channel, whose rating is released by TV rating agency, on the landing LCN or boot up screen. TRAI had given a 15-day window to comply with the direction.

The direction was challenged in the TDSAT by Bennett Coleman and Company Ltd (BCCL), Den Networks Ltd, All India Digital Cable Federation (AIDCF), Fastway Transmission Pvt. Ltd, Satellite Channels Pvt Ltd.

Den Network Ltd has appealed that the “impugned direction issued by Respondent, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, are beyond jurisdiction of the authority as given to it under TRAI Act.” It further said that the TRAI direction is curtailing the “freedom of Distributor of TV channels to position the channels over their network”.

The tribunal has directed TRAI to file a reply in two weeks’ time and granted further two weeks’ time to the appellants to file the rejoinder.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India had said in its November 8 direction that it had been repeatedly brought to the authority’s attention by various stakeholders that satellite TV channels are placed on the landing page and this practise was influencing the television audience measurements/television ratings.

TRAI in its direction had also concluded that “this practice may affect the orderly growth of the sector and is against the spirit of the policy guidelines for TV rating agencies.”

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