The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal has asked direct-to-home operator Bharti Telemedia and broadcaster Star India to negotiate and settle their dispute, which has led to the discontinuation of Star India channels from the Airtel Digital TV subscription package.
“Parties are at liberty to negotiate and enter into an agreement in accordance with the regulations and their understanding. If need be, either of the party can file an application for clarification and directions,” the TDSAT said in the order.
Airtel Digital TV has to temporarily discontinue Star India channels from its subscription package since 8 March in wake of a notice from Star India on February 16, wherein the broadcaster has warned Bharti Telemedia to disconnect its services on the DTH platform for “non-signing of the subscription agreement, non-payment of subscription fees and non-submission of subscribers reports”.
Airtel Digital TV, however, has itself temporarily suspended all Star India channels from its packages even before the broadcaster could act upon its notice.
Bharti Telemedia had moved TDSAT against Star India’s disconnection notice. The tribunal has restrained Star from giving effect to its disconnection notice while directing the DTH operator to clear the dues.
The tribunal, meanwhile, has directed the DTH operator to pay all other lawful dues in accordance with the agreement by the due date as indicated in Star’s letter dated 7 March, except the amount of Rs. 9.8 crore.