Spats over prices are an inescapable phenomenon in the broadcasting industry and by the looks of it Sony and Hathway Cable and Datacom are gearing up for yet another battle. Hathway said Sony, via its distributor MSM Media, has been demanding exorbitant prices for its channels for letting it renew its distribution agreement. Since the demand imposed by MSM Media Distribution Private Limited was unreasonable and unfair the talks between the parties were not heading towards any resolution.
“The Subscription Agreement with MSM Media Distribution Private Limited for DAS (Digital Addressable System) Phase II areas had expired on 31.3.2015 and they have been demanding unreasonable hike from us for renewal of the agreement which was very unreasonable, unjustified,” Hathway said.
“Hence it was decided by the Company not to renew the subscription agreement for DAS Phase II areas.Thereafter MSM Media Distribution Private Limited issued disconnection notices on 16-07-2015 for DAS Phase II cities against Hathway Cable and Datacom Limited and after the expiry of 21 days notice period, the signals were disconnected by MSM Media Distribution Private Limited on 06.08.2015,” the cable company said.
Confirming its intent to provide the MSM channels (Sony Entertainment Television, SAB, MAX, SIX, MIX, PIX, PAL, AXN, ANIMAX, KIX and AATH ) on a la carte basis, the MSO said that it has decided not to renew its current contract with Multi Screen Media (Sony Entertainment channels) due to the unappealing content of its channels and continued decline and inconsistency in ratings.
MSM had moved to TDSAT and filed a petition against Hathway's move to shift their channels to A la-carte. TDSAT dismissed MSM’s petition Vide order dated 14 August 2015 and asked Hathway to pay MSM its total due amount of Rs. 14.56 crore in three installments latest by 31st October 2015. On clearance of all pending dues Hathway has the right to provide the MSM channel bouquet to its subscribers on A la-carte basis.