Local cable TV operators threatened a 48-hour blackout, starting Friday 9pm, to protest the unequal fees distribution between them and the multi-system operators.
The association of the local operators has also demanded the reworking of the fee sharing formula between the two. They claimed that local cable operators have faced financial hardships due to digitisation in Delhi last year.
As per the amendment in the Cable Television Network Regulation Act, 1995, the ratio of fees charged from cable television consumers was to be divided in a ratio of 45:55 for free channels and 35:65 for paid channels between the local operators and multi-system operators.
"This has led to massive losses for local operators. We are resorting to a 48-hour blackout starting 9pm tonight (Friday)," said Ashok Pandit, president of the Cable Television Operators Association.
The association has suggested some remedial measures to sort out their issues. "All local cable operators should be given a 10-year licence from the ministry of information and broadcasting and every new operator should get an NOC from at least 10 cable operators from the area," said Pandit. He said this was necessary as "big companies put up dummy operators to eat into our business".
Their second demand is that there should be same rates across Delhi for multi-system operators as the direct-to-home facilities are charging lesser rates.