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Cable operators to sign new agreements, broadcasters resume connection

The standoff between broadcasters and local cable/multi-system operators over the New Tariff Order (NTO) has ended and connection of channels to nearly 4.5 million homes was restored on Friday after the latter decided to sign fresh agreements, said industry sources.

Members of All India Digital Cable Federation (AIDCF) has decided to sign the fresh Reference Interconnection Offer (RIO) “without any prejudice” to their challenge to Trai regulation and new tariff order, he added.

Local cable/multi-system operators have already challenged the Trai regulation before the Kerala High Court.

Earlier, three leading broadcasters, Disney Star, Zee Entertainment Enterprises and Sony Pictures Networks India Ltd, had already stopped providing feed to cable operators which have not signed fresh agreements with increased prices under the New Tariff Order (NTO) 3.0.

The NTO had come into force in February 2023.

Earlier, the broadcasters had issued notices on February 15 to cable operators/ multi system operators to sign the new RIO for New Tariff Order.

However, members of AIDCF declined to sign, following which broadcaster had disconnected their signals.

Both Indian Broadcasting and Digital Foundation (IBDF) and AIDCF had exchanged barbs over the issue.

IBDF in a statement on Sunday had charged AIDCF members of making “inaccurate remarks regarding the new price regime” and invoking “consumer sentiment”.

AIDCF, the apex body of digital cable television players, hit back, alleging that broadcasters have “significantly increased their channel prices and bouquet prices by approximately 18-35 per cent” which will definitely affect the consumer price. PTI

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