afaqs! news bureau

AIDCF-broadcasters tussle ends: major broadcasters back on cable

After a week-long blackout, the current stalemate between cable operators and broadcasters ended on February 23. All major general entertainment channels from broadcasters Disney Star, Sony (owned by Culver Max Entertainment), and Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL) will soon be available on all cable television networks.

The deadlock between the broadcasters and cable operators' lobby was resolved on Thursday evening. The Indian Broadcasting and Digital Foundation (IBDF) and the All India Digital Cable Federation (AIDCF) have reportedly reached an agreement on the increased channel prices allowed under the new tariff order issued by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

The resolution came after the AIDCF failed to obtain any relief from the Kerala High Court, which had been hearing the matter for four consecutive days. The interconnection agreements may be revised depending on the outcome of the court case.

On February 18, three general entertainment broadcasters, Disney Star, Sony, and Zee, stopped transmitting signals to major cable operators or multi-system operators (MSOs) like DEN Networks, Hathway Cable, GTPL, and others. The operators had refused to sign agreements with them under the new tariff order (NTO 3.0), which came into effect on February 1 and allowed channels to increase their prices.

The broadcasters were seeking a price hike of 10-14% on their bouquets, with some individual channels demanding an even steeper increase.

“However, following the discussion, the final price hike will be in the range of 8-10% for broadcasters instead of 10-14 per cent hike they had sought,” a media analyst told HT.

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