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Hathway decides against renewing contract with Multi Screen Media

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | August 20, 2015
Hathway has cited MSM's (Sony Entertainment channels) unappealing content and continued decline and inconsistency in ratings as the reason behind this decision.

Hathway Cable and Datacom has decided to not renew its contract with Multi Screen Media (Sony Entertainment channels), 'due to the unappealing content of its channels and continued decline and inconsistency in ratings'.

Hathway

Sony

"Dipping ratings and average content cannot be a base for a broadcaster to take distribution platforms for a ride by demanding hefty growth year-on-year. In fact, it requires major correction in the subscription fee that the broadcaster charges. The concern with Sony Entertainment Television, the flagship channel of Multi Screen Media (MSM), is that, over the last year, it has been seen that their content lacks appeal and demand as compared to other leading networks and does not deserve the growth which was given by us to the broadcaster. All the other channels in the MSM bouquet are also irrelevant and don't offer any compelling content," says a spokesperson from Hathway.

Recent figures reinstate the fact that MSM's flagship channel, Sony Entertainment Television, has been on the decline in all major DAS and HSM markets. Based on BARC ratings released for Week 31'15 (period August 1-7, 2015) for CS 4+ All India, Sony stands at the fifth position, with only 77 GRPs, compared to other leading GECs like Star Plus (197 GRP), Colors (157 GRP), Zee TV (122 GRP) and Life Ok (106 GRP).

Based on the above reasons, Hathway has taken a decision not to renew its contract with Multi Screen Media in DAS 2 markets, where it has expired. In DAS 1 markets, where the contract expires on October 31, 2015, Hathway will offer Multi Screen Media channels on a-la-carte basis to consumers and not as part of any of the packages till the expiry of the contract.

"MSM had moved to Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) and filed a petition against our move to shift their channels to a-la-carte. We are happy to state that TDSAT dismissed MSM's petition order dated August 14, 2015," adds the Hathway spokesperson.

On August 18, TDSAT had directed Hathway Cable and Datacom (Hathway) to pay Rs.14.56 crore towards subscription fee dues to MSM Media Distribution, on or before October 31, when the distribution deal expires.

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