New Delhi: The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has asked Multi System Operators (MSOs) to ascertain views of all broadcasters in their plea against regulator Trai’s decision to get channels in a bouquet instead of pick-and-choose basis.
The MSO Alliance has challenged Trai’s regulation over feed of channels and sought signals on a-la-carte (pick-and- choose) basis. At present, broadcasters give their channels to MSOs in bouquets, which are passed to local cable operators.
During proceedings in the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal, its chairman Justice Arun Kumar asked the MSO Alliance to file an application to ascertain the views of broadcasters on the issue.
Appearing for the Alliance, senior counsel C.A.Sundaram urged the tribunal to direct Trai to pass necessary orders to allow taking channels selectively.
However, TRAI counsel Meet Malhotra opposed this and said MSOs do not have the technology to receive channels on a-la-carte basis.
“At the time of framing regulations, we had asked them for their opinion and they could not satisfy us how they would receive channels on a-la-carte basis,” Malhotra contended.
The tribunal also wanted to know how many MSOs were part of this Alliance.
“How many MSOs are there. You are opposing a Trai regulation... what would happen if the MSOs under the aegis of the Alliance are given the choice of a-la-carte and other MSOs want the old bouquet system?” the tribunal said.
On this, Sundaram tried to pacify the bench, saying that the Alliance was a registered body representing all major players including Hathway and Indus Media.
The tribunal has listed the matter on 25 May for hearing.