New Delhi: Broadcast tribunal TDSAT has issued notices to DTH operator TataSky and sectoral regulator TRAI on a petition from a consumer organization alleging “illegal, unauthorized and malafide” removal of Star Sport Channels and Ten Sports by the former from its basic packages.
Admitting the petition, TDSAT chairman Justice Arun Kumar issued notice and directed Telecom Regulatory Authority of India and Direct-to-Home operator TataSky to file their reply within two weeks.
In its petition, West Bengal-based Federation of Consumer Associations has alleged that TataSky, a 80:20 joint venture between Tata and broadcast major Star, ‘fraudulently´ announced to reduce Rs40 in its basic package from 1June, 2008 onwards.
However, it was done by the company by removing prime channels such as Star Sports, ESPN, Star Cricket, Ten Sports, BBC World, BBC Entertainment and BBC Celebrity channels.
These channels were put on add-on packages and customers were asked to pay extra money for viewing these channels.
“The above mode has been adopted by the TataSky knowing fully well that most of the customers would choose to subscribe to these channels and therefore, the reduction is totally illusory whereas the increase in subscription rate is a certainty,” the organisation submitted through a petition filed by advocate Navin Chawla.
It further alleged that this action was “anti-consumer, illegal, unlawful, fraudulent” and TataSky should be restrained from effectuating the same.
Although, in its Super Saver Pack, which is the most popular pack of TataSky, South Value Pack and South Jumbo Pack, TataSky claimed to give benefit of Rs40, but in fact customer end up paying about Rs85 for watching the same channels.