TRAI examining ESPN reply on signal fee for DTH players

Telecom regulator TRAI is examining reply of ESPN to its direction for reducing fee for DTH operators by 50 per cent of what the sports broadcaster charges from local cable operators and multi-system operators. A senior TRAI official said: “We are examining ESPN's response whether that matches our direction to the company and their contention over the issue.” The official, however, did not divulge the exact details of ESPN's reply. When contacted, an ESPN spok esperson said: “We have made our submission to TRAI.”
The broadcaster had offered to charge 50 per cent of its non-CAS rate to any DTH operator who would pay it for all its three channels - Star Sports, ESPN and Star Cricket - for 2.5 million subscribers and above.
Earlier in June, TRAI had rejected contentions of the sports broadcaster seeking to allow it to make mandatory for DTH operators to offer its channels in the entry level pay tier, while working out pricing on a mutually agreeable basis.
ESPN also had sought permission from TRAI through its new reference interconnect offer to make it compulsory for DTH operators to take all the three channels collectively in their base package.
TRAI, however, asked the broadcaster to offer DTH operators the same bouquet having three channels as it does to to MSOs and LCOs in non-CAS areas. The regulator also directed that ESPN, following the orders of broadcast tribunal TDSAT, should charge hal f the rate that is charged from the MSOs and LCOs.
TRAI also directed the company to modify its reference interconnect offer within 15 days, while rejecting ESPN's contentions on pricing mechanism
The Hindu Business Line : TRAI examining ESPN reply on signal fee for DTH players