Zee Turner and Star Den Media Services plan to discontinue the distribution of their channels through the three-year old distribution joint venture, Media Pro Enterprises India.
This decision came after TRAI’s Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable Services) Interconnection (Digital Addressable Cable Television Systems) (Third Amendment) Regulation, 2014, dated February 10, 2014, which does not allow aggregators to bundle channels of multiple broadcasters in one bouquet. In light of this new development, Star Den and Zee Turner have decided to discontinue the distribution of their respective channels through the 50:50 distribution joint venture, MediaPro.
Going forward, ZEE and Star will set up their independent affiliate sales teams for their respective channels. The latest tariff order dated March 31, 2014, which permitted the inflation-linked hike of 27.5 per cent in Reference Interconnect Offer rates (in two stages), is likely to provide a positive fillip to the subscription revenues.
Commenting on the development, Punit Goenka, Managing Director & CEO, Zee Entertainment Enterprises said, “We had created this joint venture to address various anomalies in the analog market, curb piracy and introduce transparency for the benefit of all stakeholders. I must say that we have been very satisfied with the outcome of the partnership. In the last three years, with DAS getting implemented, India is truly on the path to digitisation. First two phases of DAS have already been implemented. Given the new regulation, Uday and I have taken a call to continue the business at an independent level. I wish our JV partners all the very best in their future endeavours.”
Uday Shankar, CEO, STAR India remarked, “MediaPro has been a truly delightful and path-breaking partnership. Punit and I created MediaPro with the objective of accelerating digitszation, promoting transparency and introducing best practices in distribution. Thanks to the commitment of both the parties, the JV has delivered exceptionally well on each of these.”
He further said, “I am proud to say that MediaPro also led the industry consensus for the most efficient way of moving to a digital domain. This, in turn, allowed us to offer better content to our viewers. In the light of new regulation, both partners have decided to build independent affiliate sales. I take this opportunity to compliment the entire MediaPro team led by Arun Kapoor for creating a best-in-class organisation that helped pioneer digital transformation of cable.”