Star, Incablenet in spat over commercial terms

MUMBAI: Star India and multi-system operator IndusInd Media and Communications Ltd (IMCL) are fighting over commercial issues as their carriage contract is due for renewal.

As negotiations have failed to conclude for over three months, Star has threatened to switch off signals to Incablenet (the brand of IMCL‘s cable TV operations) if no agreement is reached by 22 April.
The channels threatened for disconnection are Star Plus, Star Movies, Star World, National Geographic Channel, NDTV 24x7, NDTV Profit, NDTV Good Times, NDTV India, MGM and Fox History & Entertainment.

Star Den, which distributes the Star India channels, has already put out a notice in the newspapers on 30 March to switch off Incablenet in case they fail to sign the contract by 22 April.

"We have been negotiating with Incablenet since the last three months. We had a carriage contract, which they did not follow. As per Trai guidelines, we have put out a notice and by 22 April if they (Incablenet) do not sign, we will switch them off," said Star Den CEO Gurjeev Singh Kapoor. 
IMCL executives, who did not want to be named, said that Star Den was asking for an increase in payout. "We can‘t recover any increase in payment from our consumers. Moreover, we do not want all their channels, which they are forcing us to take," an executive said.

The contract between Star Den and Incablenet expired on 31 December 2010.

Star said enforcement agencies recently raided an Incablenet network in Surat over a complaint filed by the broadcaster. Star alleged that the MSO was "transmitting signals beyond its authorised area of operations in Surat."

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