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May 2019

LANDING PAGE ORDER DEFERRED BY 2 MONTHS




BACKGROUND

On 3rd December 2018, TRAI had issued an order prohibiting the carriage of any registered satellite television channel, whose TV rating is released by TV rating agency, on the landing LCN or landing channel or the boot-up screen of the STB.

The order was applicable with immediate effect, but permitted a delayed implementation latest by 31st March 2019.

Incidentally, TRAI had originally issued a similar order on 8 November 2017. The order was declared without any public consultation & was therefore challenged in the TDSAT who repealed the direction on 25th April 2018.

Thereafter, TRAI floated a consultation paper, obtained views from stake holders and issued a similar order, disallowing Landing Page carriage of any TV channel whose viewership ratings are declared.








CHALLENGED AGAIN

The MSO federation AIDCF, Bennett Coleman and Company Ltd (BCCL) as well as JPR Channel (an MSO) have once again challenged TRAI's order, in the TDSAT. That matter is still pending in the tribunal.

The petitioners have maintained that TRAI cannot regulate the landing page. Such a move would reduce revenues for DPOs.


TRAI REMINDED OF CASE

As the 31 March deadliner approached, TRAI received a representation from the AIDCF, reminding the regulator that the matter was pending in a court of law, and it would be inappropriate for TRAI to implement it, until a verdict is reached.


2 MONTH EXTENSION

Accordingly, TRAI has had no option but to defer the implementation. On 28 March 2019 TRAI decided to extend the date of compliance of the direction for implementation not later than 31st May, 2019."

Of course, if TDSAT does not arrive at a final verdict before 31 May 2019, the Landing Page direction will be further delayed. We will keep readers informed. n