TDSAT permits broadcasters to disconnect signals to Reliance Big TV

As per reports, the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has withdrawn the interim protection granted to DTH operator Reliance Big TV (RBTV) by allowing broadcasters to disconnect signals for non-payment of dues.

RBTV is already facing threat of disconnection of feeds by Antrix Corporation, which leases satellite capacity on behalf of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), on April 14 unless its bills are paid.

The other broadcasters involved in the matter include Discovery Communications India, Sony Pictures Networks Distribution India, India Cast Media Distribution, ABP News Network and Bennett Coleman & Co Ltd (BCCL).

The TDSAT order states that “In view of the earlier orders giving repeated opportunities to the respondent, we are of the considered view that it may not be in the interest of justice to continue the interim direction against the petitioners. If such interim directions are continued, the amount of dues will be in excess of the amounts for which the petitioner had approached this Tribunal. Hence, the interim protection in favour of the respondents stands withdrawn.”

The tribunal further noted that it would be open for the broadcasters to continue or not to continue with the supply of signals to the DTH operator on the basis of their individual understanding.

The matter is next listed on May 11, 2018.

RBTV had assured the Tribunal in February that it would settle the claims of all the broadcasters within four weeks. As per reports, it owes more than INR 100 crores to multiple broadcasters.

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