Operators allege DTH conspiracy

Rate charts yet to be generated

Almost two months since the migration to digital cable TV began in Bangalore, cable operators and multi system operators (MSOs) allege that there is a major Direct-To-Home (DTH) television conspiracy and lobby in the digitisation of cable TV.

They also claimed that the channel providers are the only ones set to gain from the move.
Pointing out to the inconvenience caused to subscribers with channel providers disconnecting important channels, sources in the industry said that the companies are stopping telecasts as they almost have a monopoly now.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Patrick Raju, President, Karnataka State Cable TV Operators Association (KSCOA), said: “Almost all the pay channels are invariably owned by companies that run DTH service. By just disconnecting relay to MSOs, they cause a lot of problems and we are already seeing some people shift to DTH because of the inconvenience.”

Over two lakh people have opted for DTH in the last two months, after the problem of missing channels caused an inconvenience to them, a source said.

Noting that their monopoly allows them to disconnect channels, which they could not do in the analog cable TV era, he said: “They should give MSOs some time to put in place systems after which they will pay them the money.”

Furthermore, the process of preparing a rate chart, which is essential to collect money for pay channels from subscribers is yet to kickstart in the City.

Raju pointed out that the process had not started given that the conversion of analog to digital is yet to be completed. Generation of user information has also not been done, he said.

“Once the user information is generated and submitted to the channel providers, they will give a rate chart which will be circulated to the subscribers,” Raju said.

Subscribers, he said, are likely to be burdened a lot more than during the analog days. “There is no option yet, to only chose some channels. They are getting all the channels and will be required to pay for many of them,” he said, adding that most of the popular channels, barring news, are pay channels.

Operators argue that the decision of channel providers to disconnect relay is not in good taste and that they should be given more time.

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