The Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) has moved to Delhi High Court against the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) register of interconnection agreements regulation.
On IBF’s note, a bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar have issued a notice to TRAI seeking its stand. The matter has been adjourned to 14th February 2020.
According to the new regulation, the broadcasters will have to report all the details of interconnection agreements with distribution platform operators (DPOs) to the authority which includes the details of all other individual agreements like marketing, placement, agreements on advertisement slots, and extended credit facility.
The regulation is set to come into force from 2nd January 2020.
It further argued that TRAI is seeking to know the details of the “Interconnection” and “Interconnection Agreements’ by seeking disclosure of agreements for placement, marketing and/or other commercial agreements that have been entered into between broadcasters and DPOs.
The IBF stated that all commercial agreements between a broadcaster and a distributor of a television channel which does not relate to the technical and commercial arrangement under which they connect their equipment and network to provide broadcasting services to subscribers would fall outside the scope of the term ‘Interconnection Agreements’.
It also added that all the commercial freedoms/rights available to any party under the provisions of the Contract Act are also squarely available and applicable in the case of any commercial entity engaged in providing broadcasting services.