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26 channels from Zee-Turner off OCN Network in Mangalore

28-June-2006
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26 channels from Zee-Turner off OCN Network in Mangalore

Zee Turner Ltd (the distribution wing of Zee Telefilms Ltd and Turner International India) has switched off its bouquet of 26 channels on the OCN Network. The reasons cited, in a statement issued on Monday, are non-payment of its outstanding dues to Zee Turner and non-signing of fresh agreement after expiry of the earlier one.

Zee Turner has been in negotiations with OCN for the past eight months to clear its outstandings and to sign a fresh subscription agreement declaring its accurate subscriber base as the old agreement. Zee Turner stated that it found OCN to be serving many more subscriber households than the number of subscriber households declared (to Zee Turner). The decision to switch off the operator came in the wake of fallout of negotiations, it said.

Mangalore subscribers on CCC and ICN networks (two other cable networks) will continue to receive channels from Zee Turner. The 26 channels of Zee Turner (including HBO, Cartoon Network, POGO, CNN, CNBC, Zee Cinema, Zee TV and Zee Studio) are now missing from the OCN Network – whose reach is 50,000 in Mangalore city going by the Zee Turner statement.

According to Arun Poddar, CEO, Zee Turner Ltd, “We are concerned about our viewers and are still trying to negotiate with OCN and have kept all our channels of communication open. We have shared an extremely healthy relationship with OCN in the past and are positive of resolving the issue in an amicable manner.”

As per TRAI’s regulation, if a cable operator drops a channel / bouquet of channels from his network, he is required to reduce the price of such channel / bouquet to be charged from his customers / households. Zee Turner has stated that viewers are, therefore, entitled and may ask for reduction in price from their monthly cable bill if these channels are missing.

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