Udaipur : SITI cable has stopped airing all the channels of ‘Sony Pictures Networks’ in the country as a part of its standard package. Due to this arbitrary movemore than 7 million SITI cable customers across cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Jaipur, Kanpur, Lucknow, Bangalore, Mysore, Trivandrum, Kochi, Adilabad, Tirupatiare deprived from watching Sony channels. SITI cable has moved these channels to ‘A la-carte’ model from the ‘postpaid model’, which means that if the customers want to watch these channels they have to pay extra. Whereas these popular channels like SONY, SAB TV, SONY MAX, AXN, SONY BBC EARTH, SONY TEN 1, SONY TEN 2 & SONY TEN 3 were part of the standard package (Rs. 200/-) of SITI cable until now.
All the cable operators in the country have vehemently opposed this sudden action taken by SITI cable. Cable Operators Communication (COC) of Kanpur and ‘All Local Cable Operators’ Association’ (ALCOA) of Delhi stated that SITI cable network has stopped Sony Package (Sony Network) without any priorintimation, so the customers are suffering. Due to this, many customers are shifting to DTH service providers, which is causing huge revenue losses to the local cable operators. SITI cable demands advance payments, so any changes in the existing packagewithout the requisite notification is a crime under ‘Consumer Protection Act’. Also if the package of Sony channels has been discontinued due to any issues at Sony’s end, the customer should be refunded.
The consumers are now clueless on the extra amount they have shell out to continue watching their favorite Sony Channels. When contacted, the SPND spokesperson stated that,“SITI cable has taken this step abruptly. So far, Sony Channels were part of their Standard Subscription package but their sudden switch to the ‘Ala Carte model’ without any prior notification isunethical for business and unfair to the cable operators’ fraternity, especially when the Sony channels are available in the standard packages of all other leading MSOs”.
SITI Cable has expanded its base to the DAS III& DAS IV markets & is today one of the largest MSO’s operating in these markets. This expansion has led to substantial gains for SITI Cable both in terms of Subscriber acquisition and revenue increase. One of the reasons SITI was able to aggressively capture these markets, is due to the huge support extended by SPN during this phase, through complete technical & on ground support. However, SITI is playing spoil sport today by not requisitely compensating SPN for the same with the growth that SPN deserves.
When the consumers & the LCO’s started persistently demanding the Sony Channels, especially for Sony TEN 1 , Sony TEN 2 & Sony TEN 3 during the South Africa vs India cricket series, SITI had no option but to switch on these channels across their entire universe! This establishes the popularity of Sony network Channels & the pull of its robust content mix, especially sports!