Television

ESS-InCable parleys to continue Friday

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MUMBAI: There is still no agreement in place between Hinduja Group MSO InCableNet and ESPN Star Sports regarding the new annual contract for the year 2004 - effective from 1 January. But the day ended with a significantly higher chance of a deal being thrashed out on the morrow than when it began.



ESS affiliate sales VP Srichand Iyengar said agreement had been reached with InCable most issues but a sticking point still remained over the demand by the sports broadcaster for payment guarantees. While the details of the payment terms were not spelt out it would appear that ESS is seeking either bank guarantees or letters of credit that could be encashed in the event of payments not coming through.



Speaking to indiantelevision.com late in the evening, InCable officials expressed confidence that a deal would be reached when the talks resume tomorrow.



If however, the talks should fail, then the switch-off this time round will be quite different from earlier ones in that it will cover the whole country wherever InCable has a presence rather than Mumbai alone. This is because the discussions that are going on at present are aimed at reaching a comprehensive agreement that is applicable across the country.



If no deal is reached, InCable subscribers in Mumbai, Delhi, Baroda, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Indore, Nagpur, Hyderabad and some other centres will be hard hit.



Deal or no deal, it appears highly unlikely that the first match of the triangular One-Day cricket series featuring hosts Australia, India and Zimbabwe, which takes place tomorrow, will be affected. 

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