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Kolkata MSOs to decide on Star’s incentive scheme in few days

MUMBAI: Multi-system operators (MSOs) in Kolkata will take a call in the next few days on Star India’s incentive scheme in the amended RIO (Reference Interconnect Offer) agreement.

The two sides met in Kolkata today to discuss the incentive scheme.

“We are going through the incentive scheme. We will take a decision after studying the scheme internally,” Siti Cable Kolkata director Suresh Sethiya said.

“We will take a call in two–three days whether to go with the incentive scheme or opt for normal RIO,” Sethiya added.

Asked whether the incentive scheme has lived up to his expectation, Sethiya said, “We were expecting little more incentives.”

He also said that MSOs are free to take their individual calls on whether to go with the incentive scheme or normal RIO.

“It could be either a collective call or an individual call. If it suits us, we will take a collective call. If it doesn’t suit us, then we will take individual calls,” Sethiya said.

Earlier, as reported by TelevisionPost.com, Star India and MSOs in Kolkata had stated that they would meet on 28 October to chalk out a strategy on the RIO issue. This followed an ad on 19 October issued by GTPL KCBPL, Siti Cable, Manthan Digital, Hathway Cable and AMBC Digital informing their customers that Star channels would be available on a la carte.

On Monday, Star declared a new RIO pricing mechanism offering incentives to cable operators based on three criteria—penetration, LCN and channel count. The penetration incentive is based on the penetration slabs for each of the Star channel on the distribution system of the MSO. The LCN incentive is based on the logical channel number (LCN) slabs within which each of the Star channels placed by the MSO on the distribution system, within the specified genre and language of all standard definition channels as contained in electronic programme guide system. The channel count incentive is based on the number of Star channels subscribed to by the MSO with minimum penetration.

Star officials are now meeting MSOs from various parts of the country to convince them that their new scheme would work for the benefit of all the stakeholders.

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