Zee Turner channels switched off in Jaipur city

NEW DELHI: Zee Turner Limited has switched off 19 bouquet channels on a leading multi system operator in Jaipur due to non-signing of agreement with correct numbers of cable homes and non payment of outstanding cable subscription charges.

Interestingly, a day prior to deactivation the MSO had moved broadcast disputes tribunal TDSAT requesting a stay on deactivation of channels. The request was rejected.

Industry sources said that the Jaipur MSO switched off is Bhaskar TV, the television wing of regional media powerhouse Bhaskar Group, which has a joint venture with Zee promoter Subhash Chandra for DNA newspaper.

Zee Turner is a distribution joint venture between the Subhash Chandra-promoted Zee Telefilms Limited and Time Warner company Turner International India.

Latest NRS data confirms that Jaipur city has more than 2,25,000 C&S homes and the MSO controls almost 90 per cent households (2,02,500) in the city.

The households declared by the operator to Zee Turner were 38,782, which has been interpreted by the latter as under declaration.

The operator’s subscription agreement with Zee Turner expired in December
2005 and a fresh agreement had not been signed, Zee Turner said.

On expiry of a 21-day notice period on 11 October, the MSO moved TDSAT seeking a stay on deactivation of channels.

According to Zee Turner Ltd CEO Arun Poddar, “The (Jaipur) operator, taking advantage of its monopoly situation, has been avoiding signing subscription agreement and has also been under declaring subscriber households by 81 per cent. This is not acceptable to us by any means.”

Poddar added his company had been trying to resolve the issue in a “cordial manner” but “non cooperation on part of the operator” has forced them to take a harsh step and resort to deactivation.

“We are really concerned about our viewers and regret the inconvenience caused to them. We are in the process of making alternative arrangements and assure our viewers that Zee Turner channels will reach each and every household in Jaipur city very soon,” he said.

The 19 channels switched off include Zee TV, Zee Cinema, Zee Sports, Zee News, Zee Studio, HBO, Pogo, Awaaz, VH1, Zee Business Zee Bengali, Zee Gujarati, Zee Marathi, Zee Punjabi, Cartoon Network, Reality TV, CNBC, CNN, Zee Trendz and Zee Café

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