Television

Star confident that operators will accept new subscription rates

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Reports of a concerted backlash from across the country to the 1 March increase in Star's subscription rates appeared unlikely on Monday, with company officials confident that most cable operators would accept the Rs 30 monthly price tag on the Star bouquet.

However, reports that the Cable Sena of Maharashtra had scheduled a meeting for tomorrow (Tuesday) could not be confirmed. The Cable Sena is affiliated to the Shiv Sena, the party in opposition in the western state of Maharashtra, where Mumbai is located.

Senior Star officials said except for Calcutta and a few pockets, over 80 per cent of the rest of the country had accepted the new rate structure. There were some reports that operators in six districts in southern Karnataka were planning to black out Star from the 15th but that has been sorted out, the officials said. The problem actually related to mode of payment rather than anything else, it was pointed out.

But 30 cable network owners of north Chhattisgarh region of India are firm in their resolve to black out Star. The have vowed to remove all channels of the Star bouquet because the channel had "revised it's subscription fees twice in the current year." A statement put out by the operators said: "Moreover all cable operators are angry with the marketing policy of the Star TV as they were forced to subscribe to Star Gold channel by the dealers of Star TV, which is a costly channel with no ratings at all."

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