Most city residents living within the notified area for the Conditional Access System (CAS) for cable TV may have to cut short viewing of special year-end shows as pay channels will not be accessible without set-top boxes (STBs) from midnight today.
Of the six lakh households in the notified region, only one lakh have installed STBs while another 45,000 will do so before the deadline, Cable Operators and Distributors Association president Ganesh Naidu said.
CAS will be implemented in the region extending up to Mahim on the western railway line and Parel on the central line.
Multi-system operators (MSOs) are working on a war footing to meet the last-minute rush for STBs, he said.
MSOs will be able to install up to 40,000 STBs today and it will be another 10 days before the full demand is met, Naidu said.
Direct-to-home (DTH) providers like TataSky refused to divulge figures of the number of STBs installed by them.
However Naidu said of the six lakh existing cutomers evenly serviced by Incable and Hathway, MSOs at best will lose five per cent of customers to DTH providers.
Till yesterday evening, according to MSO figures, around one lakh households had installed STBs.
Without STBs, people will not be able to watch pay channels. However, free to air channels can be viewed as usual.