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
Arnab Goswami to lead IPL finale debate on Star Sports

MUMBAI: Prior to the IPL finale, viewers will witness an interesting debate led by Republic World co-founder, MD and editor-in-chief and TV most prolific face Arnab Goswami. The theme of the debate is who will win the world’s toughest finals? The show will see cricket experts led by team Dean...

Television TV Channels Sports
MNX launches Super League chatbot

No one can ignore India’s crazy love for cricket, including English movie channels. MNX, the new age Hollywood channel for young India launched the very innovative MNX Super League chatbot, an interactive avatar of its TV show ‘MNX Super League’ on Facebook.

Television TV Channels English Entertainment
Porus reaches 10 Asian countries

MUMBAI: Porus is travelling internationally. The mythological show being aired on Sony Entertainment Television has made its entry in Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Brunei, Laos and Myanmar through JKN Global Media and in Indonesia with Soraya Intercine Films. Porus is now being watched in 10 Asian...

Television TV Channels GECs
India News Manch - Modi Sarkar Kitni Asardaar? India News Conclave to Analyze Modi Government’s Four Years in Power

India News, known for its direct and unbiased brand of journalism, is all set to host a special conclave Manch – Modi Sarkar, Kitni Asardaar? (How Effective Has the Modi Government Been?) in New Delhi on Friday, May 25, 2018. The day-long event will present a comprehensive overview of the BJP...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
How relevant is the age old Lakshman Rekha in today’s times; questions &TV with Mitegi Lakshman Rekha!

Ravan’s abduction of Sita highlighted the consequences of crossing the ‘Lakshman Rekha’ for generations. However, with the talks of gender equality, women’s liberation and financial independence, amongst others, being the topic of global discussion, how relevant is this ‘Lakshman Rekha’ in today’s...

Television TV Channels GECs
Zee Anmol most watched channel across genres

BENGALURU: Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (Zeel) free to air (FTA) Hindi GEC Zee Anmol has reached the realm that has been normally occupied by the Sun TV Network’s flagship Tamil GEC Sun TV or by one of the Hindi channels that has been airing the Indian Premier League. What is remarkable is...

Television TV Channels Viewership
Star India mulls adding VR to PKL 6

MUMBAI: Star India is taking the Indian Premier League (IPL) experience to other sports. After a phenomenal reception for using virtual reality (VR) in IPL 2018, it is diversifying into Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) season six.

Television TV Channels Sports
BTVI to leverage digital mediums for growth

MUMBAI: English business news channel BTVI is completing two years in August this year. The company was transformed from Bloomberg TV India after Bloomberg decided not to renew its deal with Business Broadcast News. BTVI got its COO Megha Tata in 2016 at the same time it got its new name. 

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
Zee TV the leader amongst GECs

As per the recently released BARC HSM weekly data (Urban + Rural) for week 20 ’18, Zee TV has claimed the top position in Hindi GEC space with 316640 impressions in HSM and 199155 impressions in urban markets and saw a robust growth across its primetime fiction shows. The channel continued to be a...

Television TV Channels GECs

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories