Rediff India Abroad
 Rediff India Abroad Home  |  All the sections


The Web

India Abroad

Sign up today!

Article Tools
Email this article
Top emailed links
Print this article
Contact the editors
Discuss this article
Home > Business > PTI > Report

Broadcasters may not lower channel rates

July 19, 2003 16:27 IST

Broadcasters appear unlikely to bring down their channel rates in the new conditional access system regime despite the government asking them to do so, industry sources said on Saturday.

Even as uncertainty prevails on the fate of the CAS rollout, broadcasters were expected to come out with new rates for pay channels as well as an alternate formula for the 'honeymoon' time proposal of all channels for Rs 72.

But some broadcasters on Saturday indicated that new rates may not be forthcoming soon and they may in fact stick to older rates.

Star said it has submitted its rate list to the government on Friday "and these rates are the ones we have announced earlier. There is no change."

ESPN's Manu Sahni sidestepped queries on lower rates, saying: "We are still in discussions with cable operators and MSOs. What can happen now is volume discounts and we are trying to work out different packages."

Discovery's Deepak Shourie said no new rates were being announced on Saturday, while Sony Entertainment Network chief Kunal Dasgupta and Zee's Jawahar Goel could not be contacted.

CAS went into turmoil earlier after government's promise that all channels will be available for Rs 200 fell flat, with broadcasters quoting much higher rates.

Rates given by broadcasters came to much over Rs 200 for free-to-air and five popular pay channels -- Sony, Star Plus, Zee, ESPN and Star Sports -- at a meeting earlier this week.

The maximum retail price rates given by broadcasters were Star Plus (Rs 24), Sony (Rs 20), ESPN (Rs 29) and Star Sports (Rs 29).

While Star Plus and Star Movies together have been priced at Rs 44, Set Max, Sony and Discovery combined will cost Rs 44 and ESPN and Star Sports Rs 32.

Rates of the other channels were Rs 25 for Zee, Rs 20 each for Zee Cinema, Cartoon and CNBC, Rs 15 for Zee MGM, Rs 10 each for Trendz, Zee English and Zee News and Rs 5 each for Reality and CNN.

Meanwhile, the government is contemplating amendments to the Cable Act for getting broadcasters under the purview of CAS and capping rates of pay channels as well as advertisements on them.

However, it is not clear whether an amendment to this effect would come up in the monsoon session of Parliament beginning next week.

With the broadcasters not agreeing to the 'honeymoon' period from August 1 and squabbling cable operators threatening to raise subscriptions, the government has no definite answers yet as to what shape its CAS roll-out plan might take.

The government has notified zones on Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata and the whole of Chennai to go under the CAS regime in the first phase of the staggered rollout from September 1.

7333: The Latest News on Your Mobile!

© Copyright 2005 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.

Share your comments

 What do you think about the story?

Read what others have to say:

Number of User Comments: 1

Sub: If they dont they could be in serious trouble.

With the electoral drums playing round the corner, Atal would hardly tolerate any nonsense from the broadcasters or the cablewallahs. It will be in their ...

Posted by chanakya



Copyright 2005 India Limited. All Rights Reserved.