Cable TV

Cable truce back in Mumbai

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MUMBAI: The settlement happened sooner than expected. Zee-Turner agreed late Wednesday to restore signals to Rajesh Cable, an independent operator in Mumbai. And Rajesh Cable, in turn, agreed not to poach Siticable's subscribers nor reduce cable subscription rates to expand his network.

In a related development, Hathway Cable & Datacom and InCablenet also agreed to carry Zee-Turner on their cable networks.

The issue had unfolded after Zee-Turner switched off signals to Rajesh Cable, an independent operator in central Mumbai, due to under-reporting of subscriber declarations. But it had to do more than that: Rajesh Cable was poaching Siticable's (a wholly owned subsidiary of Zee Telefilms) subscribers in Ghatkopar and Powai, central and western suburbs in Mumbai.

Zee's move sparked a reaction from Cable Operators and Distributors Association (CODA), an organisation representing last mile cable operations and distributors.

Hathway Cable & Datacom and InCablenet on Tuesday switched off Zee channels in many pockets of Mumbai. However, Seven Star, an independent operator in the western suburbs, did not extend its support to CODA.

Speaking to indiantelevision.com earlier in the day, Siticable head Jawahar Goel had told: "The MSOs had decided not to poach operators from each other. Now we have to examine what is the status of this. How can MSOs and CODA support price cutting and under-declaration of subscribers? We will discuss this in our next MSO Alliance meeting."

Siticable distributor Ravi Singh, Parab and other representatives resolved the issue later in the day at the intervention of cable TV doyen Jagjit Kohli who also heads ETC Networks, a company acquired by Zee Telefilms

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