Court postpones hearing of InCableNet, ESPN dispute to Friday

Justice Patil of the Bombay High Court today posted for Friday the hearing of the contempt case filed by Hinduja Group MSO InCableNet against ESPN Software over increased subscription rates.

InCableNet had taken the matter to court after ESPN Star Sports switched off its signals on 5 January, 2002, saying the MSO had refused to sign on to the increased subscription package that went into effect from 1 January where the monthly tariff for the ESPN and Star Sports channels was pegged at Rs 24 from the earlier Rs 16.

InCableNet however says ESPN Software has not forwarded the contract after the sports broadcaster was sent a letter seeking details about the terms and conditions of the renewal.

And there the matter rests waiting for the final judgment which might well be on Friday.

PROTEST MARCH: The Maharashtra Cable Sena and the TV-satellite and Broadband Cell of the BJP have announced they will take out a protest march tomorrow to the ESPN Star sports office to protest against the recent subscription hike.

"The hike, made without any prior notice or negotiatons, is completely unwarranted and makes the services unaffordable to the common man and small cable operators," Maharashtra Cable Sena president Ramakrishna Keny and BJP's TV-satellite and Broadband Cell convenor Ashok Singh have been quoted as saying.

The hike from Rs 16 to Rs 24 per subscriber per month comes less than nine months after the last increase, Keny and Singh have said, pointing out that it is unaffordable for the consumers.

The Cable Sena has further called for a complete blackout of ESPN-Star Sports channels from Wednesday if the hike in charges is not withdrawn.

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