Sports lovers amongst Hathway Cable TV Network’s customers in Mumbai must be a disappointed lot.
They have not only missed out on the Indianapolis Grand Prix that was aired on ESPN Star Sports on June 19 and 20 but are also losing out on all the action of the Euro Cup 2004 football and Wimbledon tennis (that started on June 21).
Hathway spokesperson said ESPN Star Sports has switched off its signal to Hathway in Mumbai since the night of June 18.
A media statement from Hathway claims that ESPN Star Sports has asked for a 24 per cent hike in rates on their channels effective from this month onwards.
The statement further claims ESPN Star Sports has also imposed other hikes under various heads like declaration, due to which the effective hike goes up by 96 per cent.
ESPN Star Sports spokesperson denied any hike in channel rates, saying the signal has been switched off because Hathway has not paid its dues for three months.
He further clarified that the signal has been switched off only in those pockets of Mumbai where cable operators have dues outstanding and is continuing in the areas under WIN cable and Space Vision, which have paid the dues to date.
It is pertinent to note here that Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, by its notification dated January 15, 2004, has frozen the channel rates as on December 26 2003.
However, the Hathway spokesperson claims the cable network has paid its dues till June 2004 and ESPN Star Sports has resorted to hiking rates of their channels in light of the ongoing Euro Cup football and the Asia Cup Cricket.