New Tata Sky Subscribers Might See Black Screens if Operator Fails to Implement Trai Rules: HC
Almost all the direct to home (DTH) operators with the inclusion of the cable operators declared their channel pricing and channel packs information in the past week thus abiding by the new Trai framework. However, there is one direct-to-home provider which has not yet implemented the new Trai framework in its pricing, and that is Tata Sky. Following this, Delhi High Court has issued a warning to the DTH provider saying that if it does not implement the Trai framework, it will be at risk. After the division bench of Chief Justice V Kameswar Rao heard appeals from Tata Sky, Bharti Telemedia, Discovery Communications India, the court informed Tata Sky that if it does not go ahead with the Trai framework, then it will jeopardise its channels for the subscribers and will risk blacking its screens out.
No Further Stay for Tata Sky From HC
It is worth noting that the new Trai framework came into force on December 29th, but the cable operators and DTH service providers were given till February 1st to complete the migration process for their subscribers with the help of Distribution Platform Operators (DPOs). In the meanwhile, Tata Sky had got some relief from HC to implement the framework till January 10th. Justice Rao had also directed the Trai not to take any coercive action against the DTH operator till there is another hearing. This relief, however, was only for Tata Sky and wasn’t applicable to other operators.
However, today there was no such relief from the HC, and the bench even said that there would be no further interim stay. Now, the court has left it upon Tata Sky to implement the regulatory framework. Kapil Sibal, who represented Tata Sky in the court said that the Trai’s new regime becomes infructuous due to the non-implementation of the clause which caps bouquet discounts at 15%.
Tata Sky Argues About No 15% Cap on Bouquet Discounts
Back on January 3, the Trai petition to Supreme Court about the clause 3(3) of the tariff order was dismissed, and the apex court left it to Trai to decide whether or not the regulator wants to implement the same. Kapil Sibal also argued that the regulator should even come forward and make it transparent as to what process it has followed in framing the new regulations.
Speaking against Sibal’s submission Trai counsel Tushar Singh and Saket Singh said that the DTH operator’s petition does not even talk of the 15% discount cap matter and they further stated that if DTH operator wants to move ahead with this matter, then they should modify their petition. Trai counsel also added that every DPO had implemented the new Trai framework except for Tata Sky. They further stressed the fact that the implementation is already effective from December 29, albeit subscribers have been given till February 1st to complete the migration. Singh also remarked that before implementing the new framework, Trai had followed a consultation paper.