Multi Screen Media (MSM) put out a public notice against Hathway in order to make viewers aware of the unavailability of the channels of MSM and TV Today through the service provider.
In a newspaper advertisement MSM said, “We, MSM Media Distribution Private Limited give this notice as authorized agent of Multi Screen Media Pvt Ltd and TV Today Network Ltd (TVTN). This is to inform all the subscribers, distributors and local cable operators that the signals of channels of MSM (SET, SAB, MAX, SIX, MIX, PIX, PAL, AXN, ANIMAX, KIX and AATH) and TVTN (Aaj Tak, India Today, and TEJ) on the platform of Hathway Cable and Datacom Ltd were disconnected on August 5 and 6, 2015...”
When questioned about the company’s next step and its impact, Makarand Palekar, EVP, Sales and Marketing, MSM said, “There is no next step as such, we have already done what needs to be done. We are not the ones who’ll switch off our signals; we are a very subscriber sensitive company, but there was no option. There is a huge outstanding payment pending and we are filing a recovery suit.”
He went on to explain, “Not much impact will be there as the ratings are now shifting to rural areas. It is manageable.”
On the other hand, Hathway Cable and Datacom have decided not to renew the contract with MSM, citing the reason as unappealing content of its channels and continued decline and inconsistency in ratings.
“Dripping ratings and average content cannot be a base for a broadcaster to take distribution platforms for a ride by demanding hefty growth year on year. In fact, it requires major correction in the subscription fees that the broadcaster charges. The concern with Sony Entertainment Television, the flagship channel of Multi Screen Media (MSM), has been witnessed over the last year wherein their content lacks appeal and demand as compared to other leading networks and does not deserve growth, which was raised by us to the broadcaster. All the other channels in the MSM bouquet are also irrelevant and don’t offer any compelling content,” said a company spokesperson.
Hathway has taken a decision not to renew its contract with MSM in DAS 2 markets where it has expired based on the above reasons. In DAS 1 markets, where the contract expires on October 31, 2015, Hathway will offer MSM channels on ala-carte basis to consumers and not as part of any of the packages, till the expiry of the contract.
“MSM had moved to TDSAT and filed a petition against our move to shift their channels to ala-carte. We are happy to state that TDSAT dismissed MSM’s petition Vide order dated August 14, 2015,” said a Hathway spokesperson.