hopes to be back on air in Kolkata in next few days
(Posted on 19 March, 8:45 pm)
The Star bouquet of channels, which has been blacked out in
Kolkata due to a continuing dispute with cable operators over
subscription fees, should be back on air within the next few days,
Arun Mohan, executive vice-president, distribution, says.
Mohan says that his team is working out independent arrangements
with a number of sub-operators which will see a resolution to
the stalemate. Mohan added that Mumbai-based multi-systems operator
(MSO) Hathway, in which Star had a 26 per cent stake, will invest
in setting up a base in Kolkata to prevent a repeat of the present
situation in future.
Star's problems have been compounded in Kolkata because RPG
Netcom, which has 75 per cent C&S penetration and rival Zee Telefilm's
Siti Cable, which has the remaining 25 per cent, have worked in
tandem to put a spoke in the channel's plans.
Matters came to a head when Star increased its rates by Rs
9 per month to RS 30 from 1 March for the package comprising Star
Plus, Star News, Star Movies, Star Gold, Star World, National
Geographic and Channel V.
According to Star, the Kolkata cable operators have formed
a unionised cartel and actually declare only 25 per cent of their
total subscriber base thereby directly pocketing 75 per cent of
the end-users' subscriptions and at the cost of the broadcasters.
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