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Star working on a new RIO pricing mechanism

MUMBAI: Star India’s decision to offer its channels only on RIO (Reference Interconnect Offer) basis is leading to complex content and consumer pricing issues that multi-system operators (MSOs) need to tackle.

Though not easy, the MSOs are trying to work out their own forms of resistance. The Kolkata-based MSOs, for instance, came out with an ad on 19 October informing their customers that Star channels would be available on a la carte.

For the system to work, Star on its part is working on a new RIO pricing mechanism to ensure that consumers don’t have to pay exorbitant price for subscribing to its channels. The broadcaster wants to convince MSOs that its RIO system is going to be good for the pay-TV industry as a whole.

While confirming the move, a senior Star official said that the company is deliberating on various options internally so that it is a win-win proposition for all. “The RIO pricing can benefit everybody,” he said. He, however, refused to divulge further details.

According to an industry observer, Star could lower down the RIO rates of some of its channels or offer discounts to MSOs by offering various schemes.

Hathway Star rate card

Meanwhile, Star India officials are meeting MSOs in Kolkata on 28 October to chalk out a strategy on the RIO issue. Kolkata-based MSOs including GTPL KCBPL, Siti Cable, Manthan Digital, Hathway Cable and AMBC Digital had issued an ad on 19 October informing their customers that Star channels would be available on a la carte.