TDSAT demands regulated pricing formula for DTH

The Telecom Disputes Settlement And Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) wants a regulated pricing formula for the direct-to-home (DTH) sector to put an end to the rising number of conflicts between operators and content providers.

The tribunal on Friday reminded the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to come up with a mechanism to control prices being charged by the direct-to-home services, on the lines of Conditional Access System (CAS) for cable operators.

"TRAI is not coming out with a price fixing mechanism on DTH sector. The basic differences between the broadcasters and operators still remain intact," the tribunal said during hearing of feed-sharing-row between Chennai-based broadcaster Sun TV and DTH player Tata Sky.

The tribunal had several times in the past asked the regulator to fix the channel prices under DTH service. However, TRAI had opposed the move saying it was not the right time for such a mechanism as DTH in the country was still at a nascent stage.

The tribunal was hearing the case between Sun and Tata Sky, following directions of the Supreme court. Similar cases between Tata Sky and Zee Group and NCR-based Total TV are up for hearing with the tribunal.

During the proceedings, Tata Sky had alleged that Sun has changed its stand many-a-times and "provided false and fabricated information."

Tata Sky also contended that Sun is providing its channels on a-la-carte basis (pick and choose) to the cable operators without a fixed bouquet.