Cable TV

MTV India denies brawl with Siticable over Nickelodeon

MTV India chief Alex Kuruvilla has denied the news item on that his company is having problems with Zee TV's Siticable over Nickelodeon's distribution (see Fisticuffs over Nickelodeon distribution?).

Says he: "There is a strong and healthy equation between the Zee Group and us, and there is no issue or 'discontent' on the Nickelodeon distribution. Whatever inference has been drawn is purely speculation and has no basis in reality."

He adds: "My statement that 'MTV has enough strengths in distribution to take on an independent channel' was only to demonstrate that our distribution strength has been instrumental in the success of the MTV channel in India. In no way was it meant to suggest that MTV was unhappy with Zee-Siticable or lobbying for the distribution of Nickelodeon. I'd like to reiterate that MTV and Zee have a fantastic relationship which goes back many years and we will continue to work closely with them." replies:

The story was based on conversations with Zee TV, MTV India and industry executives. The moot point is that the distribution of Nickelodeon - a leading US children's channel - has not come up to scratch. Any television channel manager would prefer to hide in a cubby hole rather than tout the distribution numbers Nickelodeon has.

The relationship between Siticable and MTV is based on a minimum guarantee payment, which is reportedly being met by Siticable. Hence, MTV says it has no problems. Surely, it would not be happy with Nickelodeon's penetration.

Sources have said that there have been numerous instances when erstwhile Nickelodeon and now MTV executives have had to confront Siticable executives on certain distribution issues. The fact is both MTV India and Siticable have to work hard to turn around the channel.

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