Alokananda Chakraborty

ZEE-Turner hikes bouquet price to Rs 50

The network has increased its subscription rate by Rs 8

Contrary to media speculation, the third distribution platform ZEE-Turner has hiked its bouquet price from Rs 42 to Rs 50, effective January 1, 2003. This announcement was made late on Thursday (December 12, 2002), putting to rest every conjecture about the company's distribution pricing post the landmark CAS (conditional access system) ruling as well as price hikes and ‘drops' by rival networks.

According to a release issued by ZEE-Turner, the company will have a three-tier or layered pricing mechanism for three markets, namely rural, small town and metro. In rural markets, the current subscription rate of Rs 37 for any five channels in the combine stands as it is, with no revision per se. The same amount of Rs 37 also continues in small towns with one more encrypted or pay channel being added to the mandatory crop of four encrypted (that is, pay channels) and three FTA or free-to-air channels. This implies a total package of eight channels to the current system of seven channels per bouquet per subscriber.

Thus effectively, the four metros of Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai see an increase of Rs 8 in subscription rate from the current Rs 42 to Rs 50 with a total of 16 channels comprising the bouquet. These include 13 channels of ZEE and three channels of the Turner network.

Meanwhile, in a written communiqué regarding the ruling on CAS on Tuesday in Parliament, Subhash Chandra, chairman and managing director of ZEE Telefilms Ltd (ZTL) was quoted as saying, "This legislation will help all constituents - including 40 million houses, cable operators, MSOs, broadcasters, advertisers and advertising agencies."

Jawahar Goel, his brother and director of the cable arm Siticable, added, "With the introduction of CAS, cable operators will have to pay for houses accessing such pay channels through market economies between all parties. Thus, cable operators can make reasonable profit margin." © 2002 agencyfaqs!

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