The Cable Distribution Network (CDN), the cable distributors of Ten Sports in India, announced on Friday that the price of Ten Sports would remain unchanged at Rs 14 per subscriber per month, the same price the channel launched in India two years ago.
This is real victory for the cable operators who said they will not show the channel during the indo-Pak cricket series if Ten Sports increase the subscriber fee.
However, Cable operators in Ahmedabad, believe that the channel is trying to adopt a ‘divide and rule’ policy by offering lower rates to some cable operators.
“Despite having the highest viewership among all the sports channels during the year 2003, Ten Sports will not increase the channel’s price especially in keeping the interest of the Indian viewers.” said Lalit Modi, president CDN.
“Instead we have focused on increasing the reach of the channel, and we have imported 2,500 more decoders into India for that purpose and we are asking the cable operators to increase the number of subscribers that they have declared to us from roughly five per cent to around 30 per cent.” said Modi.
But Pramod Pandya, president, Ahmedabad Cable Operators Association said, “We will definitely go for a blackout as Ten Sports is applying bad tactic to negotiate by breaking the unity of the operators by offering telecast at lower rates to a few operators. We will not show Ten Sports unless it stop harassing us by pressurising us to increasing our subscriber base.”
“We are only asking them to give us the exact number. We know that what the cable operators tell us are far from the total number of subscribers who pay them every month and we are asking what they pay to other channels who broadcast Indian cricket, even though the Indo-Pak series is far bigger than the average Indian tour.” said Modi.
“We are in active and positive discussions with the cable operators across the country and many have already signed up in Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and various other cities and town in the country.
“Certain operators are threatening blackouts, but this is normal negotiating tactic and will not stop our discussions.
“We are looking forward, along with the rest of the country, to the first one-day-international on March 13, viewers across India will be cheering the team on, and so will we.” Modi added.
“If all the pay channels are taken together, it would cost a subscriber around Rs 350 but we charge only Rs 250. More over all the subscriber do not want to view all the channels and the Ten Sports are asking rates at par with Star, which has high TRP rating.” Pandya added.