Cable TV

IMCL has agreed to give Star channels on a la carte, says Arvind Prabhoo

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MUMBAI: When Maharashtra Cable Operators Federation (MCOF) stepped into the office of IndusInd Media & Communications Limited (IMCL) today the agenda was clear: to get the Star network channels on a la carte and to get them to sign the interconnect agreement. 

"We had a very positive and fruitful meeting with IMCL," informs MCOF president Arvind Prabhoo.  The multi system operator (MSO) has not only agreed to give Star channels on a la carte, but has decided to even let go of its share on the channel’s pricing. “The MSO has said that until the consumers take the channels, the a la carte price of Star channels will be as per the price mentioned by the broadcaster in its RIO,” says Prabhoo adding that the last mile owner is free to either add his 33 per cent share to the channel pricing or give it to subscribers at subsidized rates.

The a la carte availability of the Star channels to IMCL subscribers will start immediately. “Since InCable has decided to forego its share, subscribers can get Star Plus at around Rs 15-18, which otherwise could have gone up to Rs 27,” he informs.

Starting 1 December, MCOF will come up with the exact pricing for the channel. “We will be meeting Siti Cable and Den Networks on 26 November and based on the meeting with them, we will work out a strategy to come up with the exact pricing of the channel,” he says, adding that only 15-16 Star channels are viewed by 75 per cent of the cable TV subscribers in Mumbai.

“Each LMO is surveying their customers to know the channels of their choice,” informs Prabhoo who has done the same for his 300 customers. The result shows that while 80 per cent of those surveyed want Star Plus, 75 per cent want Star Pravah and 60 per cent want Life OK.

Not only this, IMCL has also agreed to sign the interconnect agreement. "They could sign it as early as next week," says Prabhoo. 

MCOF also met Hathway Cable and Datacom and submitted its charter of demands. “They haven’t revealed their strategy as yet,” he says adding that Hathway will sign the interconnect agreement towards January.  

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