Prominent DTH service provider, Dish TV has withdrawn its petition which it filed in the Telecom Disputes and Settlement Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) against Sony Pictures Network India (SPNI). In this petition, which Dish TV had submitted before the rollout of the new tariff regime in the industry, the DTH operator had challenged some of the clauses in the terms and conditions of the pre-NTO RIO. Now the DTH service provider has withdrawn its petition based on non-discrimination. To recall, it was back in February 2018 when the service provider had challenged the RIO. It is worth noting that during that time, Dish TV also had a subsisting RIO agreement which it had gone into on December 1, 2019.
Court Says Dish TV is Free to Find Legal Abode in Case of Grievance
On the matter, the court noted, "It is not in dispute that the parties have entered into a fresh agreement under the new regime on account of Regulations of 2017. In view of such developments, learned counsel for the petitioner submits that challenge by the DTH operator to the terms of earlier RIO of the broadcaster has become academic and, therefore, the petition may be permitted to be withdrawn with liberty to the petitioner that if an occasion arises, it will be free to challenge the terms of new RIO of the respondents." The court also added that in case the DTH provider has any grievance in the future, then it is free to raise claims and also to seek appropriate proceeding as per the law.
Differences Between SPNI and Dish TV Because of Different Pricing
The matter between Dish TV and Sony Pictures Network India had come up while the broadcaster had revealed dual pricing for free and pay channels. Like one would expect, all the DTH operators were together in voicing an opinion against SPN for dual pricing. However, Dish TV decided to take things into its own hands by refusing to pay the dues for the channels having dual pricing and also challenged it in court.
Back in 2017, D2h had demanded a reduction in the total liabilities for the petitioner on the account that Sony Pal, which is one of the channels of Sony Picture India for which a composite amount was payable by the service provider. As per this claim, Sony Pal had been made available by SPN India free of charge to Doordarshan, and hence D2h said that based on provisions present in place, the broadcaster had a legal obligation not to discriminate and to provide this channel free of cost to the petitioner as well. Currently, the case lays dormant in the tribunal with the petitioner seeming to have dumped it. Dish TVs case also didn't reach any conclusion, marred by the delay in proceedings caused by both the parties.