Media Pro, a 50:50 joint venture (JV) between Zee Turner and STAR-DEN Media Services, claims that a few of the cable operators in Kerala have failed to pay the subscription fees to the distributor for more than a year. However, the cable operators opine that Media Pro is apparently charging much higher than the reasonable decided prices.
afaqs! had reported the misunderstanding between Media Pro and the cable operators of Kerala, in July this year. Incidentally, the same confusion about the subscription charges is taking ground between the two parties, now.
Media Pro aggregates and distributes Zee, STAR, NDTV and Turner bouquet of channels (like Zee TV, Star Plus, Asianet, Asianet Plus, Cartoon Network, Asianet Movies, amongst others) in India.
The company has also claimed that a few cable operators are spreading rumours on ground by telling the consumers that they have to pay a very high amount if they want Media Pro channels. Meanwhile, the cable operators strongly propose that the company is charging them a very high amount.
A senior official of Media Pro confirmed in an official communiqué, "Few operators are spreading rumours that are misleading the viewers that they will have to pay higher subscription fees if they wish to view our channels, which is absolutely not true. These operators retain a lion's share of all the subscription fees that they collect from the viewers and do not pay what is rightfully due to us. Despite repeated reminders and meetings to resolve the issue, we have received no response from these operators, which has in turn forced us to take this tough decision of disconnecting the channels."
When afaqs! had reported the issue, it related to a confusion on whether Asianet is a free-to-air channel and hence, the related subscription dispute. However, this time, the major problem stated by the cable operators is that the Asianet channels were taken over by Media Pro later, while they already had a distribution deal finalised with the Asianet network.
This, say the cable operators, is why they are not ready to pay the subscription fees in question.