Cable TV

MSOs to put Star's popular channels in base pack, regional in a-la-carte

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MUMBAI: As the deadline for signing deals with Star India for its channels on reference interconnect offer (RIO) ended on 10 November, MSOs are preparing various options to deal with the altered business plans.

While the network is providing all its channels only on RIO, MSOs are finding out different ways to package the channels. India?s leading MSO Hathway is currently creating new packages that it will roll out soon. Says a source, ?We will be redefining our packs and giving revised rates soon. Marketing on the same will commence as well. It will be something new for the trade.?

While the base pack could include the popular channels from its bouquet, the regional channels will only be on a-la-carte. English, sports and others will be categorised in different packs. The channel had initially disconnected signals in October, but now the channels are switched on again.

IMCL?s InCable on the other hand has also followed a similar pattern. The base pack will consist of Star Plus, Life OK and Star Pravah, the latter due to its large presence in the state of Maharashtra. The regional channels such as Star Jalsha, Star Vijay, Asianet, Suvarna etc will be on a-la-carte.

?We have decided to put the popular channels on the base pack for three months to avoid unnecessary system overload due to people calling for it. Slowly, they will also be moved out into a-la-carte once we educate consumers. Soon we will also have proper EPRS, CAS and also net billing,? says IMCL group MD and CEO Tony D?silva. The MSO has taken Star?s incentives for channel penetration by putting three in its base pack.

According to an official from Den Networks, the MSO has not yet signed the deal and is yet negotiating. Advance Multisystem Broadband Communciation (AMBC) in Kolkata will ensure all 26 channels will be given to consumers while another Kolkata based MSO said that the agreement with Star has been signed but it is evaluating the incentive schemes.

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