Pay channels led by STAR have announced hefty hikes in subscription rates. STAR's bouquet of half a dozen channels will now cost Rs 30 a month from March 1 -- a 25 per cent hike. Other satellite channels that have announced recent hikes include movie channel HBO, which has hiked its subscription fees by Rs 1.90 a subscriber per month and AXN by Rs 2. Zee Network will now be available for Rs 10.
The pay channels say this step has become necessary because of gross undeclaration by the Cable networks. On the other hand, Cable operators have threatened to intensify their agitation against what they call "arbitrary and unreasonable" increases by STAR and the others.
In Mumbai, while the bigger multi-system operators have not yet blacked out STAR, some of the smaller operators have already begun to pull the plug on the satellite network.