March 2018


By Neville Contractor

One of our industry's most contested matter, continue its journey in courts, for well over a decade. The TDSAT has completed all hearings & reserved its judgement, in the case challenging the TRAI's CATV tariff order for commercial subscribers.

The Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF), Sony Pictures Networks India (earlier Multi Screen Media), ZEEL, and Viacom18 have sought a stay on the TRAI's 8 September 2015 order. The Federations of Hotel and Restaurant Association of India (FHRAI), the apex body of hotels and restaurants in India, has joined the TRAI in the matter.


In response to pleas that broadcasters were charging exorbitant amounts from hotels for their channel, TRAI had exempted all hotels below 50 rooms / 3 Star rating, from commercial Pay TV tariffs.

The ruling was challenged by broadcasters & the TDSAT asked TRAI to formulate a completely new tariff order. The TDSAT order has been challenged by the FHRAI in Supreme Court where it is still pending.

Thereafter, TRAI issued its revised order which specified that hotels etc who charge their clients separately for Cable TV will be classified as "Commercial Subscribers." This was also challenged by broadcasters and the TDSAT has reserved its judgement in the matter.

It seems inevitable that whatever the TDSAT now rules will also be challenged in a higher court. n