The shuffling of FTV to another Modi group company was necessary because DD Sports did not want to be clubbed with the controversial channel, said a source.
Cable Distribution Network, a division of HMA Udyog, now distributes FTV channel in India. Though technically FTV is handled by HMA Udyog, it hardly makes a difference as it still retained by a Modi Group company. A packaged price of the different channels is still being offered, the source added.
Cable Distribution Network chief executive officer Ranjiv Kapur confirmed the shift of FTV to his company but was unwilling to comment further.
Cable operators admit that DD Sports is being packaged with FTV, Ten Sports and Hallmark. We are offered a discount if we take these channels together, a Mumbai-based cable operator said. While MEN handles DD Sports and Hallmark, Cable Distribution Network has FTV and Ten Sports. According to Mr Kapur, the channels were not being sold at a bundled price, but admitted that it could be possible at the distributors level. Distributors offer packages of different channels. But we are definitely not doing it at our end, he added. Incidentally, the distributors of MEN and Cable Distribution Network are the same.
Though the packaged price of the four channels offered to cable operators is lower, the source said that the price for DD Sports remained unchanged in the bundle. DD Sports price was revised to Rs 8.95 a month per subscriber, up from Rs 7.10. Around the same time price of FTV was also revised upwards.
Recently, Hathway Cable & Datacom refused to agree to DD Sports revised rates. MEN switched off the signals in Mumbai and Hathway later on relented as DD Sports was telecasting live the recently concluded India-West Indies series.
Though in retaliation, Hathway stopped carrying Ten Sports.