Thatscricket - ODI Series - India~~s tour of Pakistan- Indian viewers may be deprived of telecast

Published: Wednesday, March 31, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi:Not many Indian viewers may get to watch the upcoming Indo-Pak cricket series since both, Ten Sports and cable operators, are playing a blame game and blacking out transmission of this channel, which holds exclusive telecast rights for these matches.

The only ray of hope for consumers in India could be the PTV II channel that, according to some cable operators, will telecast these matches on satellite. However, even here there is an element of uncertainty since this Pakistani channel could decide not to telecast these matches on satellite and only go for terrestrial transmission within Pakistan.

A number of cable operators on Tuesday united against the "arbitrary" increase in subscriber base which many pay channels have demanded. They said they were unable to pay "four to five times the present subscription amount" and may be forced to black out Ten Sports telecast during the matches.

"Not only Ten Sports, most pay channel broadcasters have asked for four-five times the present subscription payments and they want this agreement for the next one year. We cannot sustain such payments," a cable operator Roop Sharma said.

Advisor to Ten Sports' distribution network R K Singh had earlier said it has asked the cable operators to declare connectivity in line with other "comparable" channels.

"We have added sports properties consistently over the last two years since we began operations. After Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) froze cable rates at December 26 levels, we cannot increase the rate from Rs 14 per subscriber per month. Therefore, all we are asking is that cable operators should declare connectivity as they do for comparable channels," Singh had said.

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