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MediaPro puts MSOs on notice for non-payment of dues

MUMBAI: With the 31 March deadline looming large, content aggregator MediaPro is issuing disconnection notices by the dozens to multi-system operators (MSOs) to make them pay the outstanding dues before the close of the financial year.

The aggregator has issued notices to DEN Networks, Siti Cable, Digi Cable and Indian Cable Net for non-payment of outstanding subscription fees and non-renewal of subscription agreement in several cities across the country.

DEN has been issued disconnection notices across several cities in Uttar Pradesh and Haryana besides New Delhi.

In Uttar Pradesh, notices have been issued to the MSO in cities like Ghaziabad, Noida, Jaunpur, Bareilly, Aligarh, Saharanpur, Moradabad and Ferozabad. In Haryana, notices have been issued in Gurgaon, Faridabad, Panipat, Rohtak and Yamuna Nagar.

Siti Cable has been issued notices in Noida (UP), and in Panipat and Rohtak (Haryana). Indian Cable Net and Digicable have been issued notices in Noida.

Incidentally, DEN Networks, which has a distribution joint venture with Star India, is one of the stakeholders in MediaPro, an equal joint venture between Star DEN and ZEE Turner. Similarly, Siti Cable is owned by Essel Group, the promoters of ZEEL.

Recently, TheOneAlliance had issued disconnection notice to Reliance Digital TV for non-payment of outstanding dues. It had also disconnected signals to IndusInd Media and Communications Ltd (IMCL) across the country for the same reason only to restore them later after the MSO paid the dues.

Issuing disconnection notices is a standard practice used by content aggregators to pressurise MSOs into paying dues. As per TRAI regulation, broadcasters or MSOs have to mandatorily give a 21-day notice before switching off signals.