Zee Turner Ltd, the distribution partner of Zee Telefilms and Turner International, is leaving no stone unturned to resolve the issues with Multi System Operator (MSO) Asianet regarding outstanding payments and under declaration of subscriber households in Kerala. However, if the talks fail, Zee Turner might have to take its channels off Asianet’s network.
These would include channels like HBO, Cartoon Network, Pogo, Zee TV, Zee Cinema, Zee Studio, Zee Sports, CNBC, Zee Café, Vh1, etc.
Commenting on the situation, N K Rouse, Vice-President – Sales, Zee Turner, said, “It has been our constant endeavour to provide best entertainment and services to our viewers. Solely due to this reason, for past five months we have been trying to resolve the issues with Asianet in an amicable manner. However, it is extremely disheartening to see all our efforts going in vain as the operator has shown no signs of submission till now. Therefore, we would be forced to switch off our channels on Asianet’s network.”
As per NRS figures, Kerala has over 36 lakh cable and satellite households. Being the leading MSO in the state, the Rahejas-owned Asianet Satellite Communications Ltd controls almost nearly 50 per cent of the market and provides cable TV services to over 18 lakh households. However, the subscriber base declared by the MSO to Zee Turner Ltd is less than 10 per cent of the Cable TV Homes. Asianet had been under declaring Zee Turner by more than 90 per cent.
In addition to this, for the past five months, Asianet has been defaulting in making the payments for even the small numbers declared, which has resulted in huge outstandings amounting to over Rs 3 crore.
For the past five months, Zee Turner has been trying to negotiate and resolve the issues with Asianet in an amicable manner. However, the operator is still showing no intentions of clearing the outstanding payments. Failing to obtain any co-operation from Asianet, Zee Turner is contemplating de-activation of its bouquets on Asianet’s network.
The deactivation will result in 72 lakh viewers in Kerala go without some of their favourite channels.