Karnataka viewers in for cable fee hike

BANGALORE: The days of "free view" for Karnataka's TV addicts are about to end. They will soon have to pay to watch their favourite Kannada language soaps. 

Come 1 August and two south-based TV networks, Sun Network and Raj TV, are turning pay. Lead network Sun has decided to turn four of its local channels -- three Kannada and one Telugu -- into pay channels.

Market leader Udaya TV, along with Udaya News and Ushe of (all of the Sun Network), will become dearer by Rs 18 from next month. Udaya TV is to be encrypted from 1 August while the other two channels are already running as encrypted feeds.

This step is in line with Sun's already laid out plans, as per a company spokesman, who says that their Tamil and Telugu channels are already pay channels. The company plans to go in for ground distribution initially in Bangalore along the lines of their Sumangali and Gemini cable operations in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu respectively.

Raj TV's general entertainment Telugu channel Visa TV will also turn into a pay channel from 1 August at a Rs 6 per subscriber rate.

As of now, cable operators are undecided over whether or not to pass on the extra charge to the subscriber.

During the course of a telephonic interview today, Ponnacha, spokesperson for the Karnataka State Cable TV Operators Association, said that the matter would be discussed at a state-level meeting of all district cable operators and their associations scheduled to be held on 1 August at Kumte.

Ponnacha's personal view is that only those subscribers who are paying a lower slab of subscription fee should pay the extra charges so that the subscription fee in Bangalore does not exceed Rs 250 in any case. Calling the broadcasters' "sudden decision" to turn these free-to-air channels into pay channels unjust, Ponnacha asked, "If in Tamil Nadu, Tamil channels are free and in Andhra Pradesh, Telugu channels are free, why should we in Karnataka pay for Kannada channels?

"We invest all the money in dishes and cable equipment. The ad revenues from these channels are among the highest in Karnataka, as these channels are quite popular, why should the broadcasters follow different policies for different states?"

Ponnacha said his network had different subscription rates for people of different socio-economic strata. "We have multi-millionaires, rich people, then come well-to-do small businessman and salaried class executives, then peons and other staff, vegetable vendors and auto-rickshaw drivers and sweepers as subscribers. People having sets with 10-12 channels or very old TV sets generally pay around Rs 100 per month. The maximum charges are Rs 250 per month and we'd like to keep the limit there. An increase of Rs 24 by the broadcasters (three channels from Sun and one from Raj) translates into an actual minimum increase of Rs 50 for the subscribers."

"I may have to start charging Rs 250 from next month, a hike of Rs 50 from next month onwards," said cable operator GK Ashok Kumar of Sri Sai Maruthi Video Vision. "I've not yet calculated the impact of service tax on my charges," said V Krishna Kumar, another cable operator.

Ice Networks Pvt Ltd (Bangalore) managing director S Babu, meanwhile, said that his network would abide by any decision taken at the meeting between the MSOs and cable operators.

A dharna against Sun TV's decision is also under consideration, according to industry sources.

Latest Reads
BIG Magic acquires 'Boonie Bears' exclusive FTA rights

BIG Magic has acquired exclusive FTA rights of ‘Boonie Bears’, the No.1 and most popular animated series in China. BIG Magic has renamed it ‘Babloo Dabloo’ for the Hindi viewing audience. Babloo Dabloo airs every Monday – Sunday 10 am – 11 am & 5 pm – 6 pm only on BIG Magic

Television TV Channels GECs
PBL: Setting stage for next big thing on Indian sporting landscape

India has witnessed the emergence of a multi-sports culture over the past few years. This significant development has come on the back of a promising display by Indian sportspersons across various disciplines, the meteoric rise of home grown leagues and the consequent widening of the fan base of...

Television TV Channels Sports
CNNMoney new section will be about the fastest growing economy; MoneyStream app launched

MUMBAI: Attracting 1.8 million average monthly page views, witnessing a 37 per cent growth in video consumption and 16 per cent in unique browsers month-on-month from India in less than a year’s time is not smooth. In its ambitious plan of global expansion, CNN Digital is leaving no stone unturned...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
Content a 'Game of Thrones'; AT&T's control over HBO, Cartoon Network, Warner Bros faces regulatory lens

The global media landscape is resulting in a new juggernaut as an internet and cable behemoth yesterday purchased an entertainment conglomerate making the former unmatched in its size and reach to consumers through home broadband, smartphones, satellite television and a battery of movies and cable...

Television TV Channels English Entertainment
US$ 4.5 bn expected from IPL rights; SC recommends accounts scrutiny

The Supreme Court on Friday froze all financial transactions between the BCCI and state cricket associations by directing the apex body not to disburse any funds till it resolves to abide by the Justice RM Lodha panel recommendations on reforms by 3 December . The top court ordered that none of...

Television TV Channels Sports
TVS Tyres is co-presenter for Asian Champions Trophy 2016

Continuing its strong connect with sports, TVS Tyres has associated with Asian Champions Trophy 2016 by becoming the co-presenter. The Asian Champions Trophy is one of the premier hockey tournaments, a much sought after annual international competition promising some great hockey action. This...

Television TV Channels Sports
Q2-17: Zee Learn declares maiden interim dividend

The board of directors of the Essel group’s education company Zee Learn Limited (ZLL) have declared a first time ever dividend of 5 percent per equity share of Re 1 each for the quarter ended 30 September 2016 (Q2-17, current quarter).

Television TV Channels Factual & Documentary
Whether BARC action can stop unethical practices?

MUMBAI: Can businesses and industries practise their art of selling fairly although they have 'Fair Practices' training during academic courses, workshops and several ISO and other certifications? There seems to be the fear of the lawman, and not the law in India. If the traffic cop is watching,...

Television TV Channels Viewership
TV Superhighway: beIN, Yaddo, AfricaXP have joined us, says Magine CEO Ambuj Goyal

CANNES; Magine has secured partnerships with four of the industry’s most exciting sports, documentary and entertainment content providers. Partnerships with beIN, the international media group and owner of MIRAMAX; Yaddo, the new documentary streaming service headed up by former head of The BBC’s...

Television TV Channels Factual & Documentary

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories