Raids put a stop to stealing of Ten Sports signals in Mumbai

No more unauthorised reception of the FIFA world cup soccer. Armed with a restraining order issued by the Delhi High Court last night, applicable across the country, Ten Sports has clamped down on cable ops in Mumbai city who have been illegally transmitting the channel since yesterday. 

Led by a court-appointed commissioner, teams from the channel's distributors Modi Entertainment, have been scouting the western suburbs, including several areas in Bandra, Andheri East and Dahisar and have successfully shut down the decoders that have been poaching the signals from authorised MSOs who had signed up with Ten Sports.

MEN CEO, distribution, Rajan Kaaicker, said the five-page court order that had been obtained, had put paid to attempts to steal signals by affiliates of Hathway and InCableNet, which together cover 75 per cent of Mumbai city.

Kaaicker concluded by saying that the proof of the value that Ten Sports brought to the table could be seen from the fact that across the country all the major MSOs had signed on for the new channel. The only exceptions were IncableNet and Hathway in Mumbai and the Zee Group's SitiCable in Delhi, Kaaicker asserted.

Asked to respond to the complaint raised by InCableNet that MEN's demand for a declared subscriber connectivity of 200,000 (almost on par with what ESPN Star Sports gets) was absolutely unreasonable considering it was a new channel that had just got off the ground, Kaaicker had a riposte ready. According to him, purely going by the India cricket content on offer, after the India-England series in August, what Ten has would in no way be less than ESS. Kaaicker said that as per the information available to him, even the India-New Zealand series that was scheduled in December was likely to be cancelled as most teams would be busy preparing for the March 2003 ICC World Cup in South Africa.

An ESPN Sports spokesperson dismissed Kaaicker's assertions by saying the issue was the present context and not future projections. "In 2002 ESS has a total of 82 days of international cricket involving India. What does the competition have?" he asked. 

After the current India-West Indies one-day series concludes tomorrow night, the Indian team would be in England before the month was out to play a triangular One-Day series involving Sri Lanka as well which kicks off on 27 June with the final to be played on 13 July. 

From 25 July, a four-test series between India and England is there that concludes 9 September. Then in November India will travel to New Zealand to play two tests and seven one-day internationals. 

"Thats a total of six months of India cricket on ESPN Star Sports," the spokesperson concluded. 

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