Zee-Turner switches off channels on RPG network

NEW DELHI: Zee-Turner, the distribution joint venture of Zee Telefilms and Turner International India Pvt. Ltd, has switched off its bouquet of channels on the RPG Network in Kolkata.

The move comes in the wake of "unfair business practices," and large outstanding from the network, which is to the tune of over Rs 70 million, Zee Turner said.

As a result of this action, Kolkata households connected through RPG Network will not be able to watch channels such as Alpha Bangla, Cartoon Network, Pogo - the popular kid's channel, Zee TV, Zee Cinema, Zee English and CNBC-TV 18.

According to Zee Turner COO Siddharth Jain said, "We have been holding talks with RPG Network for a long time in the hope of settling the issue amicably. We have been forced to take such an action owing to the large outstanding from their end."

Jain also alleged that some cheques issued by the RPG Network had not been honoured by the banks concerned. "This only goes to show a complete lack of effort from the RPG management to resolve the problem," Jain added.

RPG could not be contacted for comments on the issue, though it is not a new for an MSO to be switched off by broadcast networks on issues relating to payment of subscription money.

RPG Netcom, part of RPG Enterprises, is a premier multi-system operator (MSO) in Kolkata, providing cable TV services in the city and its adjoining districts, covering several cable operators. RPG Netcom is also the sole distributor of Star Network channels in Kolkata.

"We regret the inconvenience caused to our viewers. It is unfortunate, and an irony that our viewers, who make their payments on time, have to suffer due to non-payments by the MSO. This also despite the fact that cable operators on their part make their timely payments," Jain said in a statement.

The Zee-Turner bouquet offers the largest number of channels popular in almost every genre in India that include the flagship channels Zee TV, Zee Cinema, Zee News, Zee English, Zee MGM, Zee Music, Trendz, Cartoon Network, POGO, CNN International, CNBC-TV 18, Reality TV, ETC, ETC Punjabi and the regional Alpha channels that include Alpha Marathi, Alpha Punjabi, Alpha Bangla, Alpha Gujarati.

Zee-Turner Ltd. is a joint venture company that manages distribution and trade marketing for Zee Telefilms and Turner International bouquet of channels, as well as the third party channels such as CNBC-TV 18 and Reality TV in India and South Asia. Headquartered in New Delhi, Zee-Turner boasts of a combined viewership of more than 30 million households with an equal spread through the country.

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