Nearly 10 million (1 crore) cable customers in several cities in India are likely to miss their favorite programs on the Star, NDTV, Fox and MGM channels due to a spat with the Hinduja-owned group.
Star DEN, the distribution venture of Star India and DEN Networks, said it is likely to stop services to Incable (Indusind Media) from April 22 as the two have not been able to finalize terms of subscription extension agreement.
Star also has a substantial stake in Hathway Cable, one of Incable’s biggest competitors, and Tata Sky, the DTH operator which also competes with Incable. Incable and Hathway are among the top four master cable operators of India, with millions of subscribers each.
The channels affected will be STAR Plus, STAR Movies, STAR World, National Geographic Channel, NDTV 24×7, NDTV Profit, NDTV Good Times, NDTV India, MGM, Fox History & Entertainment.
Star Den said “InCable has been avoiding signing the subscription agreement for channels offered on the Star DEN network and has been availing the services and transmitting signals to cable homes.”
In reaction Gurjeev Singh Kapoor, CEO of Star DEN stated said: “Non-compliance of this notification will totally deprive viewers of some of the major entertainment bouquets offered by Star DEN. As a company we remain committed to doing our best to protect the interests of the viewers in particular.”
“We have been negotiating with the operator to sign the subscription agreement but to no avail. We remain hopeful of reaching an agreement with InCable as soon as possible so that the TV viewers’ interests will not be sacrificed in the process,” he added.