Delhi High Court on Wednesday part-heard a fresh case against Republic TV filed by India Today Group alleging malpractices by the newly launched channel.
Justice Sajeev Sachdev, according to Legally India, part-heard the matter today before listing for a continued hearing on Thursday.
Abhishek Manu Singhvi is representing the India Today Group while the Times Now has reportedly hired the services of the law firm, Phoenix Legal.
TV Today, which own India Today and Aaj Tak channels, has accused Republic TV of resorting to malpractices by violating the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) rule that makes it mandatory for a TV channel to list itself at a single location on the Electronic Programme Guide (EPG) of various multi-system operators (MSO).
In its petition, the TV Today Network said, “Proper listing of channels in the EPG helps subscribers in selecting the channel for the purpose of viewing. If the channels are listed on the basis of Television Rating Point (TRP) then it may cause change in the position of the channels from time to time based on the television rating point which will create annoyance to the subscribers who generally remembers the position of the channel in the EPG under a genre.”
TV Today has also made Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) a party in the case primarily to ensure that it doesn’t release the TRP data, made public every Thursday.
In its data, released last Thursday, the BARC had given an unprecedented lead to Republic TV in its launch week. This prompted all English channels to pull out of BARC.
The other two respondents in the case filed by India Today are the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India and Outlier Media – the holding company of Republic channel.
In a big development on 15 May, the News Broadcasters Association had sensationally alleged that the controversial TV anchor Arnab Goswami’s Republic TV had resorted to unethical distribution tactics to secure higher viewership numbers.
The NBA has written to the government watchdog,TRAI, alleging that Goswami’s channel was running multiple feeds on various multi system operators’ platforms.
Never in the past has the NBA singled out a channel for alleged trade-related malpractices.