The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has directed Hathway Cable and Datacom to pay Rs. 14.56 crore towards subscription fee dues to MSM Media Distribution.
The Dispute between MSM Media and multi-system operator (MSO) Hathway has been going on for quite some times as the Phase I deal is coming up for renewal matters because worse after Hathway declared to shift all MSM channels to a reference-interconnect-offer (RIO).
MSM had challenged Hathway’s move to shift channels to RIO.
In the RIO deal, the channel is available to the MSO on an a-la-carte basis instead of as part of a bouquet/bundle and the MSO pays the broadcaster on a per customer basis.
TDSAT, which passed the order, ruled that Hathway has to honour the commitment under the MoU for the entire term for DAS (digital addressable system) Phase I areas till its expiry, on October 31, 2015. Hathway therefore has to pay the subscription fees in accordance with the MoU.
Sony Entertainment Television, Sab TV, Sony Pix, Sony Six, Sony Mix, Sony Kix and AXN are some of the MSM channels. The distribution of these channels was under the joint venture One Alliance. However, the JV was dissolved on January 1, with the channels being distributed by the respective networks in accordance with the TRAI guidelines.
Industry sources said Hathway has also been resisting MSM’s alleged demand for growth in subscription revenue and a decrease in carriage fee. It had reportedly said the business had become unviable in the current format.
MSM had also asked Hathway for an audit, monthly subscriber report and clearance of outstanding dues. The company is also asking for a growth in subscription revenue and a decrease in carriage fee as revealed by a source, Hathway has been resisting this, contending that it has not yet started collecting money from the ground.