IndiaCast issues public notice about Dish TV

MUMBAI: Dish TV subscribers might have been a wee bit surprised today when they saw an IndiaCast notice in newspapers and on their TV channels informing them about a possible channel unavailability from 1 January.

Last month Dish TV went on a hyper drive promoting its "on request channels" campaign that was designed to give TV consumers freedom of choice and give them the option of taking up a flexible package and allow India’s oldest DTH operator to generate savings.  

As part of that scheme (which is still going on), Dish TV subscribers need to SMS or telephone its call centre and opt for the IndiaCast channels they want. Subscribers who choose not to SMS or choose to unrequest the IndiaCast channels have a reward waiting for them in the form of 100 bonus points (Rs 100) per unrequested channel, which they can redeem against the movies on demand service that Dish TV is offering. 

The DTH operator had said that it is looking at increasing revenues and reducing content costs over a period of time. The initiative of knowing what channels consumers want would help it bring down satellite transponder and bandwidth consumption costs as it would help it decide which channels it can take off. This unbundling of packages would be a win-win situation for itself as well as subscribers.

Now, IndiaCast has been running TV promos on all its channels and has also issued a public notice on the same issue in select newspapers.  The newspaper notice has cautioned general TV viewers who are subscribers of Dish TV “that several IndiaCast channels might not get carried on Dish TV from 1 January 2014 and that Dish TV would be offering its movies-on-demand instead.” 

In the notice, IndiaCast has asked Dish TV subscribers to call up the DTH operator’s call centres if they want these channels to be included in their packages. Additionally, it has informed subscribers that alternatively they can get a "new connection from service providers such as Tata Sky, Airtel, Videocon, Hathway, DEN and InCable."

IndiaCast, reportedly, has five different agreements with Dish TV for TV18-Viacom18, Disney, UTV, Eenadu and HD channels. Out of these, three deals namely TV18-Viacom18, Disney and UTV are slated for renewal on 1 January 2014. 

The channels that are mentioned in the advertisement - Colors, CNBC TV 18, MTV, CNN IBN, Bindass, Nick, IBN7, CNBC Awaaz, UTV Movies, History TV, Disney, Hungama, Sonic, Disney XD, UTV Action, Comedy Central, VH1, UTV World Movies, Nick Jr, Disney Junior and IBN Lokmat are a part of the three deals coming for renewal.

Earlier this week, a case filed in The Telecom Disputes Settlement Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) by Dish TV came up for hearing in which it claimed that IndiaCast was refusing to provide signals to the DTH provider on account of the carriage fees it was charging the aggregator. The case was dismissed and a settlement was reached between the two that Dish TV will get the channels on a reference interconnect order (RIO) basis. 

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