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ASC moves TDSAT against Star

Zee Group-promoted ASC, has approached the broadcast tribunal against Star for not supplying signals of its 'Bouquet One' channels.

india Updated: May 04, 2006 17:55 IST

Zee Group-promoted ASC Enterprises, which provides Direct-to-home (DTH) services, has approached the broadcast tribunal against media major Star India Ltd for not supplying signals of its 'Bouquet One' channels.

Star has divided its channels in two bouquets, with the first providing prime channels such as Star Plus, Star Movies, Star News, Star World, Star Gold, Channel [V], NGC and History Channel and the other Star One, Hungama, Disney Channel and Toon Disney channels.

ASC, which is the first licensee of DTH services in India and currently provides 96 channels on KU band under the brand name of Dish TV, had applied for subscription of Star's Bouquet One channels.

However, Star did not reply within the mandatory 30 days of the request as fixed by broadcast regulator TRAI under its interconnect regulations.

ASC has asked the Telecom Disputes and Settlement Appelate Tribunal (TDSAT) to direct Star to provide signals of Bouquet One channels and declare Star a defaulter of TRAI's order.

In DTH, service providers transmit the signals in an encrypted form, which are received by television sets through set top boxes.

DTH allows customers to receive all channels directly, eliminating dependence on cable operator.

It also contended that as per the law every broadcaster is bound to provide their signals to DTH operators on non-discriminatory terms on request.

"The acts of ommission/commission by Star constitute a 'denial of request', which results in deprivation of the rights and entitlement of ASC, as well as that of our subscribers to receive and view these channels," alleged ASC in its petition.

There is no alternative left for us but to approach the tribunal after Star's denial, ASC said.

"TRAI has enacted regulations to ensure channels are available on all distribution platforms to consumers on non discriminatory basis. Instead of complying with this law, Star, is on the contrary, defying it and refusing to discharge its obligation," ASC contended.

"If this continues to happen, then consumers would have to install more than one set top box to view their favourite channels," it said, adding that if contents available on all platforms (cable, DTH and others) were not the same, then they should be treated as different products.

DTH would then cease to be a popular medium, ASC added.

First Published: May 04, 2006 17:55 IST