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Notice to Zee for denying ODI series signals

Broadcast tribunal TDSAT issues notice to Zee for denying signals of Zee Sports to Hinduja-promoted cable operator InCablenet.

india Updated: Sep 15, 2006 18:22 IST

Broadcast tribunal TDSAT on Friday issued a notice to cable distributor Zee-Turner for denying signals of Zee Sports, currently telecasting the cricket tri-series in Kuala Lumpur, to Hinduja-promoted cable operator InCablenet.

TDSAT Chairman Arun Kumar directed Zee-Turner, a 74:26 joint venture between Zee and Turner International, to resume the distribution of the pay channel to Incablenet and file its reply by Monday.

In a complaint, InCablenet alleged that Zee-Turner had disconnected the signals of the sports channel Zee Sports, currently telecasting the tri-series featuring India, in an "arbitrary manner" without giving any notice.

It alleged that Zee-Turner violated rules made by broadcast regulator TRAI thathas specified that there would be no disconnection without a prior notice, which must be served three weeks prior to disconnection.

However, Zee-Turner contended that notice was not mandatory "as there is no agreement" to supply the signals of the channel.

It said that in 2005, Zee has sent decoder boxes for the channel to Incablenet on a trial basis only, without charging any sum from them.

"Now we have paid Rs 130 crore to the BCCI for the telecast rights of the match. How can we recover the amount if we provide free subscription to cable operators like Incablenet having 12-lakh subscriber base," said Zee-Turner's counsel.

Zee-Turner pointed out that it was charging less than the other international channels such as ESPN and Star Sports for the Zee Sports feed.

"We have demanded just Rs 10 per subscriber against Rs 40 charged by the multinational broadcasters," Zee contended.

First Published: Sep 15, 2006 18:22 IST