Snap!!! GTPL removed ZEEL networks from the package
Four lakh cable homes are not getting ZEE Entertainment channels like HBO, Zee Café, Warner Brothers and CNBC for the past 16 days because of a variance between the broadcaster and multi-system operator GTPL.
The jam could drag on with the broadcaster and MSO blaming each other for the channels going off air.
Most subscribers are not aware why the channels are missing because cable operators are not providing them with a clear explanation.
In the confusion, many are missing their favorite programs on TV.
A group of 50 Mohun Bagan supporters switched on the TV at Tarun Sangha Byamagar club in Thanthania last Saturday to watch their team take on Aizwal FC in the Federation Cup final, only to realise that TEN 2, which was telecasting the match live, was no longer a part of the channel bouquet.
“We had to miss the first half before catching the second-half action at a neighbouring club. As a result, we missed the first two of the five goals Mohun Bagan scored in the final. We went to the local cable office together but they said they were helpless because ZEE was trying to raise the rental for its channels,” said businessman Jayanta Das, a member of the club.
Others complained of missing serials like Gotham I on ZEE Café and movies on HBO and ZEE Studio.
Cable operators are complaining to their cable operator but they get only excuse of repairing or payment problems, etc.
Industry person said the root of the problem is broadcasters to provide channels and bouquets to all MSOs at a uniform price, irrespective of their subscriber base, case is also running in supreme court.
“GTPL is not agreeing to the new prices set by ZEE Entertainment. Also, the MSO has some dues,citing which the broadcaster has cut off the feed,” said an industry insider.
Officials of both ZEE networks and GTPL said that they are trying to reach a conclusion but cannot tell accurate date.
A senior official of GTPL said if they agreed to the new terms, they would have to increase the monthly rentals, something local cable operators did not want fearing loss of customers to DTH services, as then the rates would almost become same as DTH players like Tata Sky and they would stand to lose customers. “The ultimate number loser is always the customer. The guideline says that the MSO should take the average channel price in a bouquet and pay back the local operator taking into account the number of channels that go missing multiplied by the number of days it goes missing. This amount should in turn reach the customers,” said a cable operator who has been a part of the industry since the early 1990s.
Now, what customers can only do this is to wait until both variants reach to some solution and customer can watch their favorite programs.