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TDSAT directs Multi Reach Media, Sony Pictures Networks to enter into RIO based agreement

14-June-2018
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TDSAT directs Multi Reach Media, Sony Pictures Networks to enter into RIO based agreement

The Telecom Disputes Settlement and appellate Tribunal in an interim arrangement has directed West Bengal based Multi Reach Media Pvt Ltd and Sony Pictures Networks India Pvt Ltd to enter into a RIO based agreement which shall be deemed to be from June 15, 2018.

“We direct the petitioner and the respondents to enter into a RIO based agreement which will be subject to final result of this petition. The RIO based agreement shall be deemed to be effective from 15th of this month. The parties shall complete the formalities within 24 hours,” the order read.

While Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN), is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation which owns and operates the Sony Entertainment network of television channels, Multi Reach Media is a Kolkata based MSO with reach in other states as well.

The order further said that the interim arrangement will continue till the next date and that it also made clear that signals to the Multi Reach Media “shall not be disconnected till next date” that it will pays the current outstanding dues as per terms of the old agreement for dues upto June 15, 2018.
“For the later period the payment must be made as per the terms of the RIO agreement,” the order further read.

In its order, TDSAT also said that it expected from both the parties to sit together and try for amicable resolution of disputes including outstanding dues relating to deactivated areas before the next date.

It should be noted that Multi Reach Media wants the agreement only for the areas in West Bengal and not which are deactivated i.e. the areas falling under Jharkhand, Varanasi and Haryana.

The tribunal also accepted that “there appears to be some confusion as to the areas which are to be covered by the proposed RIO agreement.”

Sony Pictures Networks India Pvt Ltd, the broadcasting company, would be entitled to exercise their right of conducting further audit of petitioner’s system or approach appropriate authorities, if they have any grievances, the order read.

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