Star, ICNCL renew content deal

MUMBAI: Broadcaster Star India and multi system operator (MSO) Indian Cable Net Company Ltd (ICNCL), a subsidiary of Siti Networks, have ironed out their dispute to ink a one-year fixed fee deal for East India.

ICNCL has added back the broadcaster’s channels to its package with effect from 1 April. Earlier, the MSO had put Star channels on reference interconnect offer (RIO) basis,

“We have entered into a one-year fixed fee deal with Star for East India. Star channels have been added to the package,” ICNCL Director Suresh Sethiya told TelevisionPost.com.

Sethiya further stated that the MSO has concluded its content deals with all major broadcasters including Star India, Sony Pictures Networks India, IndiaCast Media Distribution, and ZEEL. “We have sealed deals with all major broadcasters till March 2019,” he stated.

ICNCL is a subsidiary of Siti Networks which holds 60.02% stake in the cable TV company. ICNCL is a leading MSO with a presence in key markets West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, and North East.

The content deal between Star and ICNCL had expired on 31 December 2017. Since then the two have been squabbling over the terms of the deal. While Star was insisting on a double-digit hike in subscription fee the MSO was in favour of a RIO deal.

Star moved Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) against the MSO. The broadcaster pleaded that the MSO be restrained from seeking signals on RIO basis till the pending dues are cleared.

The tribunal directed Star to provide signals to ICNCL on RIO basis from 1 January provided the latter pays Rs 10 crore as dues.

Meanwhile, Sethia also revealed that West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee would be meeting almost 10,000 local cable operators (LCOs) from across West Bengal on 20 April at the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Indoor Stadium.

The meeting is being held since the CM could not make it to the annual Cable TV Show 2018, which was held in January. “The CM could not make it to the cable TV show since she had to travel for official work. She had promised that she will meet the LCOs some other day. Therefore, this meeting is being held on 20 April,” Sethiya noted.

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