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Fashion TV dispute reaches India’s Supreme Court

The acrimony between the global broadcaster of fTV and its Indian licensee has reached India's Supreme Court, with a hearing date set for 20 January.

The dispute centres on the decision by Fashion Television BVI to terminate its contract in March 2011 with its Indian partner, Fashion Television India Pvt Ltd (FTV India) after disagreements over revenue sharing and outstanding payments.

FTV India, owned by Modi Entertainment Networks (MEN) - a joint venture between Lalit K Modi and Walt Disney - hopes the action will prevent fTV from commencing other Indian business ventures until the dispute is resolved, according to Live Mint.

MEN's partnership with fTV dates to August 2001, whereby an initial five year broadcasting rights contract between the two was established, with a seven year extension clause allowed upon the formation of a joint venture between the parties.

Under the initial contract, drafted while fTV was a subscription channel, FTV India agreed to pay a minimum guarantee of US$720,000 a year to the Austria-based parent company FTV Programmgesellschaft mbH.

The revenue sharing dispute began following FTV India's switch to free to air transmission in 2003.

The Delhi High Court blocked fTV from terminating the agreement in May 2011, but an arbitral tribunal has since removed the injunction.

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