Cable TV

Subscribers blame operators for channel packages


KOLKATA: This year, not only has the economic recession dampened Kolkata’s festive fervour, customers are now complaining about the inability to view their favourite television channels despite opting for them.

However, before jumping to any conclusions about multi system operators (MSOs) having missed their deadline for offering channel packages, the MSOs maintain they’ve already done the needful. So why then are subscribers cribbing?

Apparently, a majority of them have filled out customer request forms (CRFs) opting for a fresh bouquet of channels and yet, nothing has changed for them.

Says Shyamal Sen, a resident of south Kolkata: “I do have a cable connection with a package of Rs 280+Rs 50 (tax), which amounts to Rs 330 per month ... but all these packages are only fooling people. I assume my neighbour has taken the Rs 180 package and still enjoys all the channels.”

Rupa Das from Behala is happy that a couple of channels she had struck off from the list last month have gone off air but is yet to receive her new package.

On their part, MSOs refuse to take the blame for the plight of subscribers.

Kolkata has 30 lakh cable homes and nine MSOs, of which, SitiCable controls a substantial share of cable users. The company claims it has introduced packages on time. “We have offered the package and achieved 100 per cent CRF. Around 50,000 subscribers did not submit their forms. It seems those households which have more than one set-top box have not opted for a package for their second one or they are not residing in Kolkata,” says Siticable Kolkata director Suresh Sethia.

A Hathway Cable and Datacom official too maintains the company has offered channel packages to all its customers and hasn’t received any such complaints so far.

While Cable Operators Digitalisation Committee Kolkata Association of Cable Operators convener Swapan Chowdhury, reasons that the process could have been delayed with the onset of Durga Puja. According to him, MSOs and operators might take another month to start beaming channel packages. “A lot of back-end technical work still remains before new packages can be beamed,” he argues.

Similarly, an official from another MSO says since the MSO hasn’t yet collected CRFs from its customers, it plans to beam packages in phases after Durga Puja. “The LCOs will not work this week. Even if I want to offer packages, nothing can be done. Customers have to understand this,” he says.

Manthan director Sudip Ghosh says customers are going in for need-based packages currently.

Meanwhile, Namit Dave, a media analyst, is rather candid about the whole thing. He reasons that with the delay in the DAS process, it was apparent that channel packages would not be in place starting 1 October. “Even now in Kolkata, 100 per cent DAS has not been achieved in reality. So there is no question of channel offer,” he shoots.

If sources are to be believed, nearly 60 per cent of CRFs have been collected in Kolkata. However, festivities have put a spanner in the works and it is likely that MSOs and operators will take some more weeks before they start beaming the channel packages.

Latest Reads
Competition regulator okays Goldman Sachs stake purchase in Den Networks

Investment banking major Goldman Sachs has received the Competition Commission's approval to increase its stake in Den Networks to over 24 per cent by acquiring additional shares through preferential allotment route.

Cable TV Multi System Operators
DAS petitions challenging constitutional provisions listed for 3 November

With the division bench taking cognisance of several cases relating the digital addressable system (DAS) Phase III which challenge constitutional provisions, the Delhi High Court will hear the DAS cases on 3 November, 2016

Cable TV DAS
MSOs finally cross 1000 as pan-India DAS deadline nears

With less than three months to go for the deadline of the final phase which will complete cable digitlization all over the country, the total number of multi-system operators has finally crossed 1000 with 774 getting provisional licences till 30 September 2016.

Cable TV Multi System Operators
Several DAS III petitions may be transferred to Division Bench of Delhi High Court

NEW DELHI: The Digital Addressable System (DAS) Phase III legal wrangle is moving on, albeit slowly and steadily.  Lawyers appearing on behalf of the multi-system cable TV operators (MSO) will inform a single-judge bench of the Delhi High Court about a large volume of cases relating to DAS III...

Cable TV DAS
Going a la carte with Star and Indiacast has helped: Bibhu Prasad Rath

Bhibu Rath heads one of the small regional cable TV players in the TV distribution business: Ortel Communications. The MSO began as a local player in the state of Odisha. But, it has since spread into neighboring states such as Chattishgarh, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. In fact, it...

Cable TV Multi System Operators
Bihar govt trebles cable TV entertainment tax to Rs 50

Even as the government is working on subsuming entertainment and other incidental taxes into a goods and service tax (GST) which would be around 18 per cent, cable TV subscribers in Bihar are about to be delivered a blow to their wallets.

Cable TV Multi System Operators
DEN seeks Goldman Sachs investment nod from shareholders

MUMBAI: Leading Indian multisystem cable TV operator (MSO) DEN Networks –promoted by Sameer Manchanda- which got its board’s nod to issue another 1.58 crore shares at a price of Rs 90 per share to existing investor Goldman Sachs is now seeking shareholder approval for the same through an...

Cable TV Multi System Operators
NXT Digital-InCable merger gets shareholder nod; D’Silva bemoans lack of ecosystem support

MUMBAI: Hinduja Ventures Ltd’s (HVL’s) proposal to demerge its NXT Digital headend in the sky (HITS) business from its subsidiary Grant Investrade Ltd (GIL) and merge it into its cable TV MSO offshoot Indusind Media & Communications Ltd (IMCL) got the thumbs up from its shareholders at its...

Cable TV Multi System Operators
Comcast to launch wireless service using Verizon

Here is good news for all Comcast subscribers. The US cable giant’s chief executive Brian Roberts has announced the launch of a wireless service by mid-2017. It plans to create a service that would run on its 15 million WiFi hotspots and use Verizon's wireless network through a deal struck in 2011...

Cable TV Multi System Operators

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories