Not quite cricket? Hathway, MEL continue sparring

MUMBAI: For those who thought the spat between Hathway and Modi Entertainment Network Limited had ended; think again.

Although both parties claim to have reached an 'understanding' and Hathway put the MEN distributed DD Sports back on air on Thursday morning, Hathway retaliated today through the same medium that MEL has employed over the past few days - print.

In what is obviously an attempt to clear its turf, the MSO released an ad in the Times of India today, accusing MEL of anti customer attitude. "Only a fraction of the money collected from all the customers reaches Prasar Bharati /DD. The majority of the money goes to the pockets of MEL including the alleged recent price hike effected before the India/West Indies cricket series," the ad says. Countering MEL's allegation that Hathway 'turned down' DD Sports, the MSO questions the wisdom of such a move, since the series is being sponsored by Exide, a Hathway/WIN Cable associate company.

Taking on MEL's allegation that Hathway refrains from showing DD Sports although it charges the viewers for it, Hathway has responded with a charge that MEL is forcing cable ops to carry TEN Sports, FTV and Hallmark, which it carries.

The dispute began on 11 October with the MSO's refusal to accept DD Sports' recent monthly subscription price hike from Rs 7.15 to Rs 8.95, when MEN switched off its feed in Mumbai and some other parts of Maharashtra.

For the last three days, MEL placed advertisements in The Times Of India defining its stand on the matter and accusing Hathway of denying its viewers the pleasure of watching Indian cricket even though it costs 'less than a cup of tea'. It went on to urge viewers to 'give their verdict'.

The icing to the cake , however, is Hathway's declaration that "Hathway /Win cable is proud to carry India/ WI series ( Exide Cup) telecast on DD Sports" at the end of the ad.

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