The tussle between DTH service provider Tata Sky and Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) seems to be finally ended. Tata Sky is sending out a text message to its users stating that they can now watch all the 32 channels of Sony India, hinting at a settlement between the two parties. For the unaware, Tata Sky’s contract with SPN India ended back on July 31, 2018, after which it dropped 22 channels of Sony, retaining 11 channels. Now, Tata Sky is providing 32 channels of the Sony India, further renewing its contract. Earlier, Tata Sky subscribers had to give a missed call to the company to view the retained 11 channels, but there’s no such scheme now as all the channels are available for viewing. If you’re subscribed to a particular package of Sony channels, you can start viewing them without any additional hassle.
TDSAT Intervened Between Tata Sky and SPN India
TDSAT has entered the picture when the issue happened back then. “Tata Sky subscribers faced issues with the absence of SPN channels. “…we direct both the parties to sit across the table and try to work out a mutually acceptable negotiated agreement within a period of four weeks from today. If required the parties may seek an extension of the period,” TDSAT said in its order.
The matter has been listed for November 11 for considering the outcome of the fresh round of negotiations which the parties are to carry out in the meantime. And finally, it seems to have settled now as mentioned above. Tata Sky is pushing a message to the users as “All 32 Channels of Sony are now available on Tata Sky. Happy Viewing.”
What’s the Issue Between Tata Sky and SPN India?
Earlier in October, Tata Sky dropped 22 channels of Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) and three of TV Today Network on pricing issues. SPN’s three-year contract with Tata Sky had expired on July 31, and the two since then have been negotiating on a new pricing deal. That said, Tata Sky retained 11 channels of SPN India including popular ones such as SET, SONY SAB, SET HD, Sony Six, Sony Ten 1 and so on.
The contract tenure between SPN and Tata Sky came to an end on July 31. After the talks for a negotiated agreement did not yield any result, SPN served a notice to Tata Sky on September 7, followed by a public notice on September 10. Consequently, Tata Sky opted for an RIO-based agreement effective September 30 midnight for ten channels.
SPN India Sought Rs 1,700 Crore for Contract Renewal
This is an interesting aspect which came out. Tata Sky had pointed out that negotiations failed because the demand was for Rs 1,700 crore and that too when the right of telecasting IPL matches was no longer available with SPN as it has been won recently by another broadcaster. Under the old terms, SPN was getting Rs 800 crore approximately.
So SPN India sought more than double the amount of previous contract value and that too without the rights of IPL. For the unaware, Sony India owned the rights to broadcast IPL matches for ten years since 2008. But in September 2017, Star India pipped Sony to bag the rights for four years- 2018-2022. Having said that, there are no details available on the new contract between Sony India and Tata Sky.