Star India has issued disconnection notices to DTH operators Dish TV and Videocon d2h within a month after Bharti Telemedia-owned Airtel Digital TV was forced to drop Star TV channels from its subscription package.
The notice, according to Star India, has been issued due to non-signing of agreements by the two DTH operators. Incidentally, Dish TV and Videocon d2h are closing in a deal to merge their operations which would result in a combined subscriber base of 29 million.
Star had earlier issued a disconnection notice to Bharti Telemedia for non-signing of the subscription agreement, non-payment of subscription fees and non-submission of subscriber reports. The broadcaster’s channels were temporarily discontinued from the package on 8th March and were made available on a la carte basis to subscribers.
The matter is pending with the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT), which has directed both the parties to negotiate and settle their dispute. TDSAT has also directed Bhati Telemedia to clear all the dues to Star India as indicated in Star’s letter dated 7 March, except the amount of Rs. 9.8 crore.
Having paid a whopping Rs 16347.5 crore to secure the Indian Premier League (IPL) media rights for five seasons, Star has been insisting on a huge hike in subscription fee pay-outs from distribution platforms.
Star is also embroiled in a dispute with multi system operator (MSO) Siti Networks over agreement renewal. The earlier fixed fee deal between the parties expired on 31 December 2017. The deal was worth ₹ 90.96 crore for a period of two years. Siti has been insisting on a reference interconnect offer (RIO) deal. Currently, Star channels are available on RIO basis to Siti customers from 1 January 2018.