Tata Sky has locked horns with Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) and India Today Group following failed commercial negotiations over carrying channels from both the broadcast networks. Thereafter, the DTH operator completely switched off several channels, including India Today TV, Sony Pix, Sony Max HD among others.
However, the operator has made 11 popular channels available for existing subscribers. âIf people have already subscribed to the 11 channels, which include SET, SET HD, Sony Max, Sony SAB, Sony Six, Sony Ten 1, Sony Ten 1 HD, Sony Ten 2 HD, Sony Ten 3, Sony Pix HD and Aaj Tak, they just need to add the channel at no extra cost by giving a missed call,â said a press statement from Tata Sky.
Speaking on the on-going impasse, Harit Nagpal, CEO and MD of Tata Sky, said, âCommercial negotiations with the broadcasters broke down as what they were seeking would have forced us to hike our prices. Hence we had to drop a few channels while keeping the popular ones on. We request our subscribers to bear with us as we are doing this in their best interest.â
SPN too issued a press statement saying, âSPN and Tata Sky have over the years developed an excellent working relationship. It is, therefore, unfortunate that Tata Sky has unilaterally chosen to drop 22 SPN channels from its subscription, even though SPN has not increased the rates of its channels.
âBy unilaterally dropping the channels, Tata Sky is depriving its viewers of the opportunity to watch world-class entertainment and live sporting action. Further, by compelling existing subscribers to give separate missed calls even to continue watching the SPN channels they have already paid for, Tata Sky is not acting in consumerâs interest.
âWe would like to reassure Tata Sky subscribers that the SPN channels are available under the TRAI mandated Reference Interconnect Offer (RIO). All they have to do is call Tata Sky and demand that the channels be provided to them.â