All Sony channels are once again back on Tata Sky’s satellite platform. Tata Sky, one of the most premier DTH operator in the country and Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI) have mutually resolved a commercial dispute between the two companies. After two months long partial blackout, all the dropped Sony channels, are now back on the network, bringing a lot of relief to Tata Sky subscribers, accustomed to watching Sony channels.
The terms and conditions of the contract between the broadcaster (SPNI) and the DTH operator (Tata Sky) were mutually resolved, according to industry sources. However, the exact nature of the financial deal has not been revealed. Tata Sky pulled off 22 SPN channels from the platform on October 1, 2018. The decision led to a lot of anger among consumers of the DTH network. Owing to the backlash, the platform had retained some of the Sony channels on a-la-carte rates.
According to Harit Nagpal, CEO of Tata Sky, the commercial negotiations with the broadcaster had broken down as deals being sought by SPNI would have forced the distribution platform to hike prices for the consumers. Meanwhile, Sony had claimed that the decision by the leading DTH platform was “unilateral”.
Earlier, SPN had issued a disconnection notice to Tata Sky on September 7, 2018 and it was followed by a public notice on September 10, 2018 detailing the disconnection. PTI reported that SPNI’s three-year contract with Tata Sky had expired on July 31, 2018. After the contract got over, Tata Sky had asked for an extension and it even tried to reach a new pricing deal but the talks failed.
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The case was later heard by the Telecom Disputes Settlement Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) relating to a commercial dispute on October 11, 2018. The TDSAT advised the parties concerned to take four weeks to try and reach a mutually acceptable negotiated agreement. It seems that the two companies now have reached such an agreement.