The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has directed MSM Discovery (new name of Set Discovery) to offer to the direct-to-home (DTH) the same bouquets which are being offered for non-Cas cable distribution.
MSM Discovery will also have to offer to DTH its bouquets and channels at 50 per cent of the rates at which these are being offered in non-Cas areas to cable opeartors.
Trai has ordered this to be implemented within 15 days. MSM will have to file a compliance report with the Authority, along with a copy of the Reference Interconnect Order (RIO) after due modification.

The directive came after the sector regulator had given a statement last week that all broadcasters had agreed to comply with this. Trai pointed out that MSM had showed defiance to implement an order from the sector tribunal.
Trai had been trying to get MSM Discovery to agree to the regulatory intervention that said DTH players must be given bouquets and channels on a la carte basis and at prices half of that being charged to the cable operators. Trai says that MSM's last letter to the Authority points out, inter alia, that "MSM Discovery Pvt. Ltd has entered into contractual agreements with all existing DTH operators on a non-discriminatory basis except one DTH operator, in whose case the matter is sub-judice before the Hon'ble TDSAT and Hon'ble Delhi High Court."
It has said also "that a further reduction in a-la-carte rates would not help the cause of the end consumer, and that any further reduction in its a-la-carte or bouquet rates will not be feasible, and requested the Authority to desist from taking any such precipitate action."
Trai says that after carefully considering the MSM letter, it has not found this to be acceptable because of the fact that there are only a handful of DTH operators in the country and the existence of contractual arrangements with some of them is not a valid ground for giving any special treatment to MSM Discovery.
"A Reference Interconnect Offer is meant for facilitation of interconnection agreements and prevention of imposition of unilateral conditions by any service provider in the sector so as to protect the interests of service providers, and consumers of the broadcasting sector and cable sector, and to promote and ensure orderly growth of the broadcasting sector and cable sector; and, the broad norms applicable to the Reference Interconnect Offers of all broadcasters are also applicable to MSM Discovery," Trai says.
It says also that the contention of MSM Discovery that a further reduction in a la carte rates would not help the cause of the end consumer does not have merit because it is not a valid ground for exempting MSM Discovery from of the norms laid down by the Tdsat in its judgments dated 31 March, 2007.
Trai holds that the offering of separate bouquets for the non-Cas distribution platform and the DTH platform would defeat the norms laid down by Tdsat in the same judgment.
It says: "The Authority of India hereby directs that MSM Discovery shall, within 15 days from the date of issue of this Direction, modify its Reference Interconnect Offer referred to in paragraph 7 for Direct to Home platforms so as to offer to the DTH operators the same bouquets which are being offered by MSM Discovery for non-CAS cable distribution, so that the above norm laid down by the Hon'ble Tdsat is followed in letter and spirit."
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