Mumbai cable TV shut as operators protest police clampdown

MUMBAI: Cable operators across India's entertainment capital Mumbai blacked out all channels on their networks on 21 August late evening. The reason: they were protesting against the move by the authorities to stop them from transmitting English and Hindi movie channels to their viewers.

Earlier in the day, the Mumbai police had swooped down on cable TV control rooms and sealed decoder boxes of nine channels for showing adult content. Among these were Hindi and English movie channels (Zee Cinema, Star Movies, HBO, Filmy, Star Gold, AXN and Max), and Hindi entertainment channels Star One and Sahara One.

At the time of writing, unconfirmed reports were that other cities across the western Indian state of Maharashtra had also been affected with cable TV services partially or completely shut down. For instance a major cable operator in Pune revealed that decoders of the above nine channels and also those of MTV and Channel V had been sealed.

Additionally, certain cable TV networks had started scrolling that the agitation had spread through the rest of Maharashtra with services being shut down every where.

"Police have sealed the decoder boxes of nine channels. We had to sign a bond that we wouldn't be telecasting these channels till the High Court ruling," says a senior executive of a leading multi system operator (MSO).

The Bombay High Court had last week pulled up the Maharashtra police chief for not acting against cable operators who were violating its earlier order banning adult movies on TV. In December 2005, the High Court had ordered the police to take action against cable operators and cable service providers who beamed movies with 'A' or 'U/A' certificates. This was in response to a public interest litigation filed by social activist Pratibha Nathani.

In Mumbai, cable operators have blacked out their service. "There was too much confusion and we didn't receive a definite list of which channels to block. Movie channels like Pix and Zee Studio, for instance, are spared. It is only late in the day that the police has come to our control rooms and sealed the decoders of nine channels. To avoid all this chaos, the three control rooms of Siticable in Mumbai have switched off their service," says Ravi Singh, a distributor of Siticable.

Adds a cable operator, "They should have told us early in the day which channels we are not to telecast. There would have been no need for the police to visit all the control rooms in Mumbai as we would have blocked these channels. We are not broadcasters and we can't be expected to act as the censors of content."

The Bombay High court had on 16 August directed Director General of Police Dr P S Pasricha to file an additional affidavit within a week to explain whether any action has been taken against erring cable operators.

MSOs are deciding what course of action they should take. "We may move the court," says Wire and Wireless India Ltd. (WWIL) CEO Jagjit Kohli.

When contacted, a Star India spokesperson did not wish to comment on the issue.

Latest Reads
BBC World News to Broadcast 'China's Chat Girls'

Lele Tao is an internet superstar in China’s $3 billion dollar ‘live streaming’ industry. With more than a million fans she can earn thousands of dollars a day singing, dancing, flirting, or often just chatting into her webcam. Fans buy her virtual gifts which she redeems for cash. In return she...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
PKL season 6 and 7 dates announced

The second most watched domestic league in India, Vivo Pro Kabaddi League owned by Mashal Sports and Star India announced the dates of sixth and seventh season.

Television TV Channels Sports
Star Bharat leads Hindi GEC (U+R) in week 2 of BARC ratings

MUMBAI: Star Bharat emerged as the leader in the Hindi GEC (U+R) genre dethroning Zee Anmol according to Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) all India data for week 2 of 2018.

Television TV Channels Viewership
BARC week 2: Aaj Tak leads Hindi News in all three markets

MUMBAI: Republic TV continues its leading streak in the second week of the year as well in BARC All India ratings. News Nation stays in the top five chart in week 2 of 2018 in Hindi News Rural market. Aaj Tak tops the chart again in Hindi News Urban market.

Television TV Channels Viewership
Dsport acquires India rights of tri-nation tournament in SL

Discovery’s sports channel Dsport has acquired the exclusive India broadcast rights of Nidahas Trophy 2018, a tri-nation international T20 tournament involving India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. The transaction was facilitated by Lagardère Sports, the global marketing consultant of Sri Lanka Cricket...

Television TV Channels Sports
Pittie Group launches news portal

Pittie Group has launched LatestLY its new portal for trending stories across categories like world news, politics, sports, entertainment, lifestyle,technology, automobile etc. It is being developed as the go-to platform for anybody wanting a complete understanding of trending stories.

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
Catch Rekha's stellar performance in 'Biwi Ho Toh Aisi' on Sony MAX2

MUMBAI: Rekha’s fans are in for a sweet surprise this week as India’s iconic Hindi movie channel from Sony Pictures Networks, Sony MAX2 is all set to air classic movie Biwi Ho Toh Aisi. A light-hearted family drama stars Bollywood legends Farooq Sheikh and Rekha in lead roles and marks the debut...

Television TV Channels GECs
The seasonal show saga on Indian GECs

MUMBAI: Daily soap operas, with an infinite number of episodes, is the unique feature of India’s TV entertainment offering. From the era of a single national broadcaster to today where you can pick from a plethora of general entertainment channels (GECs), times have surely changed. What is slowly...

Television TV Channels GECs
Star ushers in IPL's new era with a bang

Star India is all set to reinvent the Vivo Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 by increasing fan-engagement levels and bringing the sporting spectacle even closer to cricket fans across the country. The broadcaster’s press conference in Delhi today started with Sophia, a robot, in conversation with...

Television TV Channels Sports

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories