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February 17, 2010

Zee Turner removes channels from Hathway Cable & Datacomm

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by Rapid TV News

Website: Rapid TV News

India’s Zee Turner distribution venture has carried out its threat, removing its channels from the networks of Hathway Cable & Datacomm.

Zee Turner threatened to take the action in a statement last week, saying that the two companies had failed to come to an agreement over a sum of money Hathway owes to Zee Turner. That sum – Rs280 million – is disputed by Hathway.

With the two sides still disagreeing and no carriage deal in place for the last 10 months, screens have gone blank for Hathway subscribers wanting to watch any channel from the Zee Turner bouquet.

The 33-channel bouquet includes Zee TV, Zee New, Zee Movies and all Zee’s other services as well as HBO, Cartoon Network, CNN and WB.

There is some confusion over how many subscribers Hathway Cable actually has, with India well known for widespread misreporting of subscriber numbers.

The company reports 8.2 million homes (with one million of those digital), at least some of which must be seriously annoyed that their favourite shows have suddenly disappeared.

Meanwhile, Hathway’s IPO ended better than it started, with subscriptions 1.36 times over, although response from retail investors was “muted” according to Reuters.

The portion of the offering alloted to institutions was 1.4 times over.

Hathway was aiming to raise over Rs5 billion (US$108 million) for customer acquisitions, set-top boxes, digitisation, loan repayments and other general purposes.

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