InCablenet switches off pay channels on analogue cable

MUMBAI: Hinduja-owned InCablenet Tuesday switched off signals of pay channels to its analogue cable TV subscribers in Mumbai, ahead of the digitisation deadline.

The MSO, which did not participate with the genre-wise channel switch-offs earlier this month, decided that this would be a smart step to take by making consumers realise that they had to buy set top boxes (STBs) before 1 November.

InCablenet had a handicap in not making the pay channels available on analogue cable earlier as it did not have a content agreement with Media Pro Enterprise, the joint venture company that distributes Star, Zee and Turner channels among others.

"We switched off pay channels to our analogue cable subscribers yesterday. In any case, TV signals will go blank on analogue cable from 1 November. We wanted consumers to realise this before so that they would not be deprived of watching their popular programmes on 1 November just because they don‘t have STBs installed at their homes. We are seeing rapid movement of STBs after this," said InCablenet CEO Nagesh Chhabria.

Leading MSOs such as Hathway Cable & Datacom and Den Networks had started switching off channels genre wise beginning with English movie channels on 10 October. This had the support of the broadcasters under the aegis of the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF).

The Hindi movie channels were switched off from 15 October, followed by English, Hindi and business news channels on 18 October and Hindi GECs on 22 October.

However, MSOs who did not agree to the switch off continued to get these channels.

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