Television

ETV Bangla to become pay channel in Kolkata CAS areas

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 MUMBAI: v, a free-to-air channel owned by Ushodaya Enterprises, is to be converted to an encrypted (pay) channel in the areas covered by Conditional Access System (Cas) in Kolkata from 1 March.

The Bengali entertainment channel had gone pay in other parts of the country from 1 February and has been priced at Rs 10 as reported earlier by Indiantelevision.com.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India today issued an order to this effect, thus updating recent press releases placing the details of maximum retail prices fixed by the broadcasters in respect of CAS areas on the basis of the reporting done by them in terms of clause 7 (ii) of the Tariff Order of August 31 last.

A press release said that the change had been made as the Authority had been informed when it issued its Tariff Order that the channel which was then encrypted would be made free-to-air in some of the notified areas.

Earlier last month, two channels for children - the Pogo channel distributed by Zee Turner Limited and Toon Disney in English and in Tamil distributed by Star India - were made free-to-air channels in the areas covered by CAS in Chennai.

Trai has accordingly updated its list of channels with the charge per channel.

Even as demand is yet to pick up for Cas set top boxes offered by various MSOs (multi-system operators) with the more affluent residents in South Delhi preferring the DTH (Direct to Home) option, cable operators have begun charging Rs 77 plus taxes to those who are receiving FTA channels through cable. Some operators have added additional cable channels which carry films from Bollywood.

The Zee Group had offered its Galaxee box and the Incablenet has offered its box for a special offer of Rs 1800 and Rs 1500 respectively, covering the box and around 100 channels for the whole of 2007, if consumers make up their minds within the month of January 2007. However, consumers preferred to take to the DTH systems offered by the Star-Tata owned Tata Sky or Zee-owned Dish TV both of which have also been offering attractive packages.

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