IndiaCast UTV, the company that distributes TV18, Viacom18 and Disney UTV channels, has issued disconnection notice to Tamil Nadu government-owned multi-system operator (MSO) Arasu Cable TV Corporation for non-payment of dues.
The notice states that the signals of some or all the channels of IndiaCast UTV will be discontinued to Arasu Cable subscribers after three weeks if the MSO fails to pay up its dues. IndiaCast UTV distributes 35 channels including Colors, MTV, CNN IBN, CNBC TV18, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Hungama TV, Bindass and Nick.
Earlier, Arasu had issued disconnection notices to Media Pro, MSM Discovery, Taj Television and Star Sports India. Together, the four broadcasters constitute almost 119 channels spread across genres.
Broadcasters allege that Arasu has not been paying subscription fee for the last six months now. The state-owned MSO is asking for discount in outstanding dues and a reduction in subscription fee, they say. When broadcasters refused to budge, the MSO issued disconnection notices as a pressure tactic.
In the case of MSM Discovery and Taj Television, the MSO, it is learnt, has already given effect to its disconnection notices by switching off channels from both the bouquets.
Sun TV Network, South India’s biggest television network and a dominant player in Tamil Nadu, is also engaged in negotiations with Arasu to hike monthly subscription fees. Arasu, though, is reluctant to increase subscription fee payout as its content costs are not commensurate with the ground collections.
Arasu, which offers around 100 channels, provides cable TV services in Tamil Nadu for a measly Rs. 70 per month.