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Star bowed to pressure from other broadcasters: INCableNet

MUMBAI: Hinduja Group MSO INCableNet has charged Star India with bowing to pressure from "other broadcasters" in its decision to switch off Mumbai's biggest cable service provider last night.

Giving its version of the sequence of events INCableNet claims non-payment of "huge outstandings", which is Star's stated reason for the switch-off, had little to do with it. An INCableNet release alleges that on Tuesday, 6 May, detailed discussions had taken place with Star. Following the talks, "broad agreement over CAS related issues were arrived at. A letter of intent (LOI) was to be formally signed on the 8th. Though discussions continued, no LoI was forwarded as promised the release says.

According to INCableNet, after a meeting with other broadcasters, Star decided not to pursue or discuss the CAS LoI and instead made "an oral demand to pay up an arbitrary and exorbitant sum of money by 6 pm or else face disconnection."

INCableNet asserts that broadcasters were requested to finalise CAS related agreements to enable it to continue the smooth conditional access rollout by the due date of 14 July 14 but are "backtracking from their commitments to CAS."

INCableNet has linked the switch-offs to the fact that it is the only independent Indian MSO without any broadcaster management control.

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