Television

ESS switches off InCableNet in Mumbai

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MUMBAI: It's just not cricket. Just as subscribers of Hinduja Group MSO InCableNet were warming up to the One-Day cricket contest going on between India's "Men in Blue" and the mighty Aussies, their screens went blank.



ESPN Star Sports switched off its signals to InCable around an hour ago after talks between the two parties finally broke down over the issue of payment.



Speaking to Indiantelevision.com, an InCable spokesperson said that while all the terms were agreed upon, including an increased declaration in subscription base, the broadcaster was "making unreasonable demands" over the monthly payouts. "Major advances were being asked for which are unheard of in the industry. All the other terms were agreed upon by us. It was at the monthly payout module stage where the talks broke down. The switch-off will only affect Mumbai," the spokesperson added. An ESS spokesperson also confirmed that as of now, the switch-off only affected Mumbai.



The situation last evening was quite different when , InCable officials had expressed confidence that a deal would be reached when talks resumed this morning. ESS affiliate sales VP Srichand Iyengar had said that while an agreement had been reached with InCable on most issues a sticking point still remained over the demand by the sports broadcaster for payment guarantees. It appeared that ESS was seeking either bank guarantees or letters of credit that could be encashed in the event of payments not coming through.



Even while only Mumbai is affected as of now, there is still the possibility that it may spread to all centres in the country where InCable has a presence. This is because the discussions that were going on were aimed at reaching a comprehensive agreement applicable across the country.



Since no deal has been reached, InCable subscribers in other centres like Delhi, Baroda, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Indore, Nagpur, Hyderabad, etc might well be affected in due course.

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