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Asianet refuses to distribute ESS feed of Australia series

The impasse between ESS and Aisanet continues as both the parties failed to resolve the matter

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | December 26, 2011

The impasse between ESPN Star Sports (ESS) and Asianet continues. As a result, Asianet has refused to distribute the the ESS feed for the India-Australia cricket series beginning today Down Under. Asianet has demanded lower rates from ESS. The Asianet blackout of ESS feed has been going on for six months.

Several discussions between ESPN and Asianet have so far not resulted in any outcome and Asianet has so far not agreed to several of ESPN’s terms.

According to Asianet, it has been providing the services for about 18 years now and has successfully kept cable subscription rates stable across Kerala in spite of huge cost escalation on all fronts and thus protected consumer interests. The company said that the sports content is shared by many sports channels. It also added that major cricket events like ODI and T20 matches are mandated by government to be shown on DD.

Asianet has also held out a veiled threat saying that “unlike in the past we have more sports channels”, referring to the fact that the rights for many important sporting events are with competing braodcasters.

The company further stated in a press communication: “ESPN bouquet of channels is already collecting huge money as subscription in comparison with other broadcasters and Asianet is keen to protect customer interests against subscription increase.”

The matter is sub-judice in the Supreme Court of India.

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