DTH

Sony, Hathway expect to resolve connectivity dispute soon

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Sony Entertainment Television and the Rajan Raheja-owned Hathway Cable & Datacom are hopeful that their ongoing dispute over paid connectivity will be resolved in a day or two. Sony has switched off its bouquet of channels - SetMax, AXN, CNBC (paid services) and the currently free-to-air SET to Hathway - in Mumbai, Pune and Nasik in the western state of Maharashtra.

Industry sources say that Sony wants Hathway to increase the declared connectivity of the bouquet. When Sony has signed a deal with the Hinduja-promoted InCable for a 30,000 subscriber base there is no justification in Sony's demand that its base be hiked above that (way higher than that it would seem) is the Hathway argument. "Ask Hathway what is the declared connectivity of Star Sports," Sony's senior VP franchise channels & distribution Shantonu Aditya counters, when it was put to him that the increase sought was too high. He, however, clarified that discussions were on and would be resolved sooner rather than later.

Hathway's other complaint is that while Sony is set to go pay from 1 September, it has already demanded an increase in the rate of its bouquet to nearly Rs 26.

The Sony signal has been on and off the Hathway feed for the last month or so in the three Maharashtrian cities and the issue at stake seems to be more in the area of parry and thrust than an all out confrontation between the two parties.

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