Cable TV

Residents raise their voice against cable ops

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A residents' association in Mumbai is fighting against the irregular price structure of the cablewallahs. All the residents of a particular area in Mumbai have joined hands to form an association which is refusing to pay exorbitant charges to the cable ops. The local cable operator had hiked cable charges from Rs 80 per month to Rs 125 per month. The association has been demanding an universal pricing structure.

Similar incidents have been reported all over the country where the customer is hassled by the harsh and unfair pricing structure of cable ops. This indicates the growing discontent among the customers who are often held at gunpoint by cable ops who suddenly switch off channels when they deem fit. Complaints have been flowing in from various directions. Cable operators show advertisements on their local cable channel which occupies more than half of the screen and often movies and programmes are stretched to never ending duration which irritates viewers. During cricket matches and other live events, some cable ops insert scrolling advertisements which violate copyright regulations.

Another disturbing practice of the cable operators is under disclosure of c&s homes (cable & satellite). The ratio of disclosure is around thirty percent. This results in heavy losses for satellite channels who tend to hike the subscription rates.

The cable operators and the general customers should be prepared for higher rates as the forthcoming era would be of paid channels. Since the satellite channels offer high quality programmes and due to increasing costs, the subscription rates will always tend to be high.

Discovery Communications' Managing Director Kiran Karnik, said at a recent conference, "The people should now prepare themselves for higher cable rates if they are want quality programming. The days of free-to-air channels will soon be over. The market should now mature."

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