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Indian broadcasters welcome DSO ruling

The Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) has welcomed the order passed by the Honourable Delhi High Court dismissing the nine petitions dealing with the time extension for implementing digital addressable system (DAS) in certain areas of Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and Uttar Pradesh under Phase III, the deadline for which had expired on 31 December 2015. With the dismissal of these petitions, the stay granted by various High courts in areas covered by the above-mentioned nine cases stands vacated and will no longer apply.

The Delhi High Court, while dismissing these nine petitions, has also directed the petitioners to switchover to digital addressable systems within three weeks i.e., by 24 November 2016 and inform the subscribers by running a scroll on their networks about the digital switchover deadline.

The High Courts in various parts of the country had earlier granted stay in certain matters on DAS Phase III deadline. The stay orders had stalled the implementation of DAS Phase III in those areas. This prompted the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to move the Honourable Supreme Court to get all the cases transferred to the Apex Court.

The Honourable SC made Delhi High Court as the designated court for all cases related to DAS Phase III.

The above-mentioned order of the Delhi High Court has removed the impediments in implementation of DAS in Phase III areas.

The IBF has advised all its Member Broadcasters to apprise all its affiliate Multi System Operators and local cable operators about the said switchover deadline of 24 November 2016 in these Phase III areas and make it clear that after the said date the channels can be received only through a digital set-top box. The subscribers in these areas are advised to immediately contact their respective Local Cable Operators/Multi System Operators to ensure the installation of STBs before the expiry of the above-mentioned deadline of 24 November 2016.

There is no change in DAS Phase IV deadline, which continues to be 31 December 2016.

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