Armed with an order of the Supreme Court of November 21, television broadcasters have been raiding hotels and commercial establishments for violating the special payment terms for these establishments.
In the latest raid carried out on the Executive Enclave hotel in Mumbai's suburb of Khar, the police along with ESPN Software and its representative Novex Communications, seized projection material and an FIR was filed against the hotel's officials.
Novex Communications' general manager Anurag Parmar told HT that despite the Supreme Court order upholding the revised tariff for commercial establishments, a large number of hotels had failed to sign contracts with the broadcasters.
"Even five-star hotels have been guilty of passing on the buck to their hotel associations," Parmar said. "The Supreme Court order has dismissed the plea of the hotel associations and has allowed criminal proceedings to continue against those hotels that have been booked," he added.
The monthly license fee for hotels for the 15-channel Zee Turner package is Rs 326.90 per TV per hotel room, while for the ESPN Star Sports package it is Rs 150. For pubs and restaurants using the big screen, the fees varies from Rs 5000 to Rs 7,000 per month.
With commercial establishments and hotels hosting large New Year Eve parties, raids on unauthorized use of television signals will be intensified, Parmar said.
Hotels need to sign contracts with the broadcasters directly and not take the signal through cable operator or MSOs. Under section 2(7) of the Sales of Goods Act, projection of signals without the broadcasters permission is a violation of the Copyright Act, the Supreme Court has held.