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Cable war flares up again

ONCE AGAIN, TVs went blank as the cable war between two bitterly quarreling multi system operators (MSOs) warmed up, depriving a large number of subscribers the joy of the India Vs West Indies ODI on Tuesday. About 80 per cent of City areas are faced with the cable blackout.
By HT Correspondent | None, Bhopal
PUBLISHED ON MAY 25, 2006 11:09 AM IST

ONCE AGAIN, TVs went blank as the cable war between two bitterly quarreling multi system operators (MSOs) warmed up, depriving a large number of subscribers the joy of the India Vs West Indies ODI on Tuesday. About 80 per cent of City areas are faced with the cable blackout.

The dispute over the area of operations and direct feeding of signals to cable TV to the consumers by the MSOs in some localities flared up even after intervention of the administration some time ago.

Cable operations have been disrupted during the past three to four days in most of the areas, forcing dejected cricket lovers to switch to radios for commentary.

Most of the cable operators switched off their phones, betraying their helplessness in this regard. In Bhopal, two MSOs – Raj TV and B TV- are having almost the same number of consumers in different parts of the City. The owners of newspapers Raj Express and Dainik Bhaskar respectively own these two MSOs.

The MSOs frequently indulge in cable cutting whenever they find that the cable operators are switching over to the rival. On the other hand, the cable operators oppose direct feeding of signals to consumers by the MSOs.

In some areas, one of these MSOs is providing cable connection through lines of a telephone company. People involved in cable cutting even cut off the cable by digging it up.

When asked, ADM, MB Ojha said the district administration would strictly deal with the cable-cutting problem. He said the interests of consumers would be protected.


Operators’ assn defunct
THE ASSOCIATION of 300-strong cable operators of the City has become non-functional as most of the operators are identified with one or the other MSO. Most of the cable operators also feared violence when they talked to the Hindustan Times and requested that their names should not be published.

Recently, a new body of the Bhopal Cable Operator Association was formed. Soon after the formation, the cable operators divided into different groups.

 

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