TDSAT directs Sony to refund Rs.28 crore to Videocon D2H

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The never-ending debate that DD Free Dish, the content distributing arm of Doordarshan (Prasar Bharathi) is not similarly placed with other Direct-To-Home operators such as Dish TV, Tata Play et., has been once again put to rest by the Hon’ble Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) vide its judgement dated 11.04.2023.
Dealing with a petition filed by Videocon D2H, now known as Dish TV India) against Sony Pictures seeking refund of Rs.28 crores on account of the fact that the channel Sony Pal is being provided to DD Free Dish free of cost, the Tribunal held that DD Free Dish cannot be differentiated from the petitioner- Videocon D2H as both are service providers in terms of TRAI Act, 1997.
Further, considering the statement and objectives of the said Act, coupled with various Interconnection regulations passed by TRAI from time to time, the Tribunal held that it was not only necessary but mandatory to maintain a level playing field in the broadcasting and cable sector, to ensure parity and non-discrimination.
Appreciating the past judgements of the expert Tribunal, the Hon’ble Tribunal held that offering of ‘Sony Pal’ channel by Sony Pictures, free of cost to DD Free Dish and simultaneously charging Videocon D2H for the same channel is contrary to the prevailing regulations and law. Accordingly, while dismissing its counter claim, the Tribunal directs Sony Pictures to refund an amount of Rs. 28 crores to Videocon towards the monthly subscription fee collected by it for the channel Sony Pal.
The order copy can be accessed at : https://lnkd.in/dmi65Mjw

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