With major channels becoming pay channel, the cable operators are left with no choice other than hike the monthly subscription rate by Rs 50 and Rs 75. In case the hike faces resistance from customers, operators say they will subscribe to select channels from the bouquet offered by Star, Zee or Sony.
While Zee is expected to go pay from June 11, Sony is expected to become a pay channel during this month. Zee has fixed its complete bouquet package at Rs 30 and the Sony is quoted at Rs 20. By just including the Zee and Sony package, cable operators will have to pay Rs 25 more to broadcasters. This would take the total pay channel cost, with entertainment tax, to Rs 150. This is the maximum the operators receive from the customers.
This has left them with no choice other than increase the subscription rates. According the cable operators, Broadcasters are trying to gobble independent cable operator. Government should make it compulsory for pay channel user to use an addressable system. They also insist that there should be a tier system, where a consumer can get the basic 30 channels for Rs 150 and the remaining pay channels using the addressable systems.
But this is not acceptable to Broadcasters and the advertisers will exactly know how many home subscribe to a particular channel.
It is not clear whether the consumers will finally decide to pay more to watch pay channels. A battle is soon to break out between cable operators and broadcasters and that would be ultimate entertainment for the subscribers.