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Mumbai MSO's hike cable TV rates
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Customers joy of getting cable services at minimum amount seems to have come to an end. The need to sustain during the sudden cut throat competition by means of slashing their rates and the resultant loss incurred in the process is reported to have compelled the operators to restore to the earlier rates.

From having provided cable connections at a nominal fees of Rs 50 in various parts of the Mumbai city since last six months, cable rates are now being restored to Rs 250 and likewise by the multi-system operators (MSO).

The alleged entry of unauthorised personnel into the field is reported to have been the main reason for the drastic reduction of cable rates. Unlike the notion of cable operators being threatened with the entry of DTH services, its the muscle power of newer entrepreneurs into the field that led to the brief lull.

"Technical invasion into cable business was never a threat, for even cable operators have switched their services from analogue to digital format. The threat was primarily from the unauthorised entrants who were arm wrestling into the area of small operators by means of bribing customers with unrealistic offers," said Ashish Shirke, owner, Ashish Cable Network.

Having to pay taxes of various kinds, the possibility of sustaining cable connections at such low rates was always stated to be temporary. Now with economic slump the temporary arrangement made by the cable operators to woo customer too seems to have taken a downslide.

"No cable operator can sustain in the business by giving connection at a rate of Rs 50 as was the case until few months ago. This was solely being done to retain the customer thereby remain in the business even if it was incurring loss." said a cable operator Bhupesh Gupta.

Gupta continues to explain, "Since we have to pay numerous taxes in terms of entertainment, services, maintenance and cost of pay channel, the feasibility option saturated long back. There are operators who have not paid their loans and are defaulting on filing of income tax as well, so it had become crucial that the rates be restored."

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