Rate hikes, pirated signals lead to blank screens in Gujarat

MUMBAI / NEW DELHI: Showtime's been overtaken by sabre rattling between cable ops and broadcasters in the western state of Gujarat. 

Cable operators, who have not taken too kindly to the rate hikes of Sony and Zee and the rider-attached downward revision of Star's rates, have switched off signals in several parts of Gujarat. Broadcasters, on the other hand, are gearing to tackle the menace of pirated signals as World Cup cricket approaches.

While broadcasters' maintain the price revisions effective 1 January 2003 have been going on smoothly across MSOs and states, the rumblings are now getting audible.

The One Alliance, which hiked its rates from Rs 40 to Rs 55 effective 1 January, has hired two consultants to keep the menace of pirated signals in check. Sony Entertainment India's distribution head Shantonu Aditya says a court injunction led to raids on 1 January against Dev Networks in Surat. Two representatives of the cable op were arrested and later let off on bail, says Aditya. FIRs have been registered in six police stations in Surat and adjoining areas against cable ops broadcasting pirated signals. Dev Networks is currently back to the negotiating table with Sony, says Aditya.

Ahead of the World Cup SET-Discovery is aggressively going to crack down on piracy, Aditya asserted. "We are fully prepared to take on the pirates," he added.

Lead broadcaster Star India is also facing problems in Gujarat. In several parts of Saurashtra and Kutch as well as in south Gujarat, Star has been off air since 1 January. However, Star India corporate communications head Yash Khanna maintains that he expects the issue to be resolved soon and that Star India has not switched off signals anywhere.

Though Star India is yet to sign new subscription deals with big MSOs like Hathway and InCableNet, the company expects that by the time conditional access is fully implemented, its subcriber base would have increased to 12 million cable homes. At present it is about 6 million for the Star Network.

"We are in the process of finalising the deals with bigger MSOs after our new pricing strategy, but we expect that the target of increasing our base would be achieved," Sameer Nair, COO, Star India told

Nair expressed confidence that in a few days time the deals with InCableNet and Hathway would be finally delivered.

He also said that after the new pricing for the Star channels were announced, "between 60-70 per cent of the cable ops have already signed up." However, he refused to hazard a guess by what quantum Star Network's susbcription revenue would go up - or down - after conditional access is implemented and the cable ops sign up as per the new pricing startegy. "But one thing is sure. Our revenue from subscription will certainly go up this year," Nair asserted

Aditya also exuded confidence about the rollover to the new price structure. It has been smooth going, says Aditya, adding that he expects to have in place six million active paying subscribers by the time the World Cup kicks off mid-February.

Latest Reads
Zee Cinema to air the World TV Premiere of the family entertainer Pad Man on Saturday, 26th May at 8PM

The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do. A movie that dared to break stereotypes and talk about a tabooed topic, Pad Man was instrumental in creating a platform to discuss female hygiene in the country. Helmed by the celebrated director R Balki, Pad...

Television TV Channels Movie Channels
TV Today board recommends 45% dividend; numbers up

The board of directors of TV Today Network Ltd (TVTN) has recommended a dividend of Rs 2.25 (45 per cent) per equity share of face value of Rs 5 each for the financial year ended 31 March 2018 (FY 2018, year, fiscal under review). The company has reported 10.7 per cent growth in consolidated total...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
Sony takes audiences to the crossroads with new show

MUMBAI: After being a leader in introducing mythological shows, Sony Entertainment Television (SET) is taking a different route. The channel’s latest offering is Zindagi ke Crossroads, a 39-episodic interactive show where the studio audiences will put forward their opinions on the challenges faced...

Television TV Channels GECs
Cosmos-Maya’s next international co-production is a spin-off series of the much talked about 3D Animation feature film Leo da Vinci: Mission Mona Lisa

is another high quality 3D animation international co-production - a spin-off series based on the recently released film Leo da Vinci: Mission Mona Lisa.

Television TV Channels Kids
EPIC TV & Penguin Present The Third Book Of The Devlok With Devdutt Pattanaik Series

Where did the name Radha come from? When did Christianity first come to India? What is the connection between sanskar and dharma? After the enormous success of the first two books in the ‘Devlok with Devdutt Pattanaik’ series, India’s favourite mythologist, Devdutt Pattanaik, is back with a third...

Television TV Channels Factual & Documentary
Banijay Asia and Salman Khan TV collaborates to create content for digital and tv

World’s largest independent content creation group, Banijay Group recently entered Indian & South East Asian market under the guidance of Deepak Dhar with an aim to produce content across genres. Banijay Asia &SK TV, which was launched few years back, come together to create novel and...

Television TV Channels GECs
DSport reaches 110 mn households in a year

DSport, the sports TV channel by Discovery Communications, has achieved the milestone of reaching 110 million households in India. The channel was launched on 6 February 2017 and achieved the milestone within one year of operations in India and has expanded its distribution across all DTH and...

Television TV Channels Sports
Star Suvarna to telecast 'Kannadada Kotyadhipati 2018' the Kannada version of 'Who wants to be a Millionaire' as part of its revamp

May 21, 2018: The third season of Kannadada Kotyadhipati, the Kannada version of ‘Who wants to be a Millionaire’, which sets the stage for a revamps of Star Suvarna, the Kannada GEC channel of Star Network will premiere in June’18. Since January 2018, the channel has gained viewership share in...

Television TV Channels Regional
Republic Network partners with CAF India to nurture the Culture of Giving amongst Indians as part of its first year celebration.

Republic TV, India’s number 1 English news channel for non-stop 53 weeks is celebrating its milestone first year anniversary in a unique and special way. Republic TV has partnered with Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) India, a not for profit organisation to fuel and accelerate the spirit of giving...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories