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Fresh STAR blackout bid blocked

A fresh push by a section of cable operators for blocking a major bouquet was thwarted on Wednesday, with their umbrella multi-system operator (MSO), RPG Netcom, rejecting the switch-off proposal.

The blackout brigade, led by the Cable Operators Sangram Committee, was told “in no uncertain terms” by the MSO in a closed-door meeting that a switch-off was “out of the question”.

The agitating operators have been seeking status quo on pay-channel rates and connectivity till conditional access is rolled out, and have singled out STAR as the “chief culprit” among broadcasters, on a revenue mop-up spree in the lead-up to CAS.

New-year rate revisions by pay channels add up to an extra burden of nearly Rs 100 per point. However, regardless of the amount actually passed on, this is likely to be the last pocket pinch for the consumer, who can pick and choose his cable TV fare from mid-July.

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