Subscribers in dark as channels go missing

Subscribers in dark as channels go missing

Subscribers in dark as channels go missing

For the past 15 days, the problem of ‘missing channels’ continues to haunt nearly six lakh subscribers of cable TV who — among 25-26 lakh subscribers — migrated to digital from analogue cable system in Bangalore following the Centre’s directive.

Customers signed up to Hathway network, one of the six multisystem operators (MSOs) in the city, are unable to access nearly 40 channels as the provider of those channels — MediaPro — arbitrarily disconnected them for Hathway for nonpayment of fees.

“No time was given to Hathway; we have received a complaint from them about the same about three days ago, but MediaPro is not cooperating with us,” said Karnataka State Cable Operators’ Association President V S Patrick Raju.

Stating that MediaPro has asked Hathway to pay Rs 2.28 crore at Rs 38 per household, Raju said: “MediaPro has chosen to target the biggest among the six MSOs operating in the city, as it wants to force others to pay. While making a payment may not be a problem, procedures need to be followed. The MSOs should be given time to gather customer reaction.”

Popular channels like Suvarna Entertainment, Asianet, Star Movies and other Star network channels, CNN and National Geographic are among the missing.
Informed sources said a top-level meeting between Hathway and MediaPro was held in Mumbai on Tuesday and added that the problem is likely to be resolved by Wednesday.
Up-link and down-link of channels takes about an hour and the process has already begun following the meeting, they added.

Similarly, Sun-18 — another channel provider — had last week disconnected many channels, including K TV, Sun TV, Sun Music, Gemini, Udaya etc, to another MSO Kaizen.
Ramu from Kaizen said: “They are charging Rs 40 per household, and we are yet to realise the actual strength of our customer base. We are still importing set-top boxes.”
Raju pointed out that the channel providers are not following a uniform policy in disconnecting the channels from all MSOs.

“...This is because they fear that there will be an outrage if all the channels go missing. They are targeting one MSO after the other and are not doing it at one go. When one provider is disconnecting channels the others provide their links, and then the other threatens,” he said.