Television

After Mumbai, Delhi may also see DD Sports off Hathway

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NEW DELHI / MUMBAI: The Hathway-Modi Entertainment Network (MEN) face-off seems to be spreading. According to indications, if negotiations do not work out between the two parties, DD Sports, along with FTV, Hallmark and Ten Sports, are likely to go off air on Hathway cable networks in the Capital by Thursday, a day when the second cricket Test match between Indian and West Indies begins and for which DD has exclusive telecast rights.

DD Sports is not available in parts of Pune as well. The Pune Associated Cable (PAC) network has been quoted as saying that it will continue to block the channel as the network could not afford to pay the revised rates.

According to sources in Hathway, meanwhile, MEN representatives held a couple of rounds of talks with the former on increasing the number of subscribers of each of the channels that MEN distributes. "All of them have ended in a stalemate till date and if things don't work out we are sure MEN will switch off the decoders," a senior executive of Hathway in Delhi told indiantelevision.com.

MEN, a KK Modi group company, looks after the distribution of DD Sports, Hallmark, FTV and Ten Sports. Rajan Kaaicker, CEO distribution group, MEN, was however, noncommittal when asked about whether MEN would switch off Hathway in Delhi like it did in Mumbai.

According to the Hathway sources, MEN is demanding that for each of the four channels that it distributes, Hathway should declare about 160,000 subscriber base. This means that Hathway, the multi-system operator, would have to shell out more money for each of the four channels, including DD Sports.

At the moment, cable operators get these four channels for about Rs 24 per subscriber per month.

What is interesting is that this face-off between MEN and the MSO has come at a time when the cricket fever is high, especially after India's stupendous performance in Mumbai during the first Test.

It is also interesting that this is not one of the one-off face-offs. Hathway and Sony Entertainment TV India, in the recent past, in Delhi had run into each other over payments and increasing the subscriber base. The cable subscribers had to do without SET Max during the initial days of the recently concluded ICC Champions Trophy.

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