Scientific Atlanta and others makes pitch to etc to set up earth station

Scientific Atlanta, better known in India as a supplier of high quality set top boxes, has been the first mover to make a pitch to etc Networks for a contract to set up an earth station for it in Mumbai.

etc Networks managed a coup of sorts after obtaining a licence to set up an uplinking centre from Mumbai. The channel will now become part of an exclusive club of four having uplinking facilities in India. The list includes Jain TV, promoted by Dr JK Jain, Kalanithi Maran's Tamil Nadu-based Sun TV and the Eenadu Group in Andhra Pradesh, promoted by Ramoji Rao.

etc has, however, only been allowed to uplink to the Thaicom 3 satellite, according to one of the channel's three promoters Yogesh Shah. Queried as to who had been commissioned to build the earth station, Shah said: "Thaicom itself has a facility to help set up the teleport. Scientific Atlanta has given us a quotation. There are several others who are interested in helping us set up the earth station in our existing premises in north Mumbai's Andheri suburb."

Although etc will be targeting the 24 Indian channels that are currently downlinking off Thaicom 3, Shah said he did not expect more than five to seven channels - all Mumbai-based - to make the switch. That doesn't include etc's own channels - etc Punjabi and etc Entertainment.

The project would cost between Rs 50 to 60 million, Shah said.

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