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  1. Star India vs Airtel Digital TV: War over tariff hike gets ugly ahead of IPL 2018

Star India vs Airtel Digital TV: War over tariff hike gets ugly ahead of IPL 2018

Star India on Friday lashed out at Airtel Digital TV for overcharging their customers. For a while now, Airtel Digital TV customers have been seeing a banner on Star channels saying they might go off-air if the operator does not renew the contract. Now, Airtel Digital TV has hit back at the Star India.

By: | New Delhi | Updated: March 25, 2018 12:36 PM
Star India on Friday lashed out at Airtel DTH for overcharging their customers. Star India on Friday lashed out at Airtel DTH for overcharging their customers.

Star India on Friday lashed out at Airtel Digital TV for overcharging their customers. For a while now, Airtel Digital TV customers have been seeing a banner on Star channels saying they might go off-air if the operator does not renew the contract.

Star India has taken to Twitter, claiming they have not raised the tariff. They have accused Airtel Digital TV of increasing prices of Star channels ‘unilaterally’. “Attention Airtel Digital TV subscribers! Star has not increased channel tariffs. Airtel Digital TV is misleading you and unilaterally increasing the prices of Star channels. To continue watching high-quality Star entertainment switch to new DTH/Cable operator NOW,” Star India tweeted.

Star India also posted a video in which they alleged that Airtel Digital TV provider is charging as much as Rs 1000 for channels provided by Star. The network provider have also listed DTH providers that customers can subscribe in place of Airtel. They include Tata Sky, Sun Direct, Hathway, Den, GTPL and Fastway.

WATCH: Star India’s video on Airtel Overcharging

Star India has bagged international broadcasting rights for Indian Premier League for the next five years. They bid a gigantic figure of Rs 16,347.50 crore. Financial Express had earlier reported an Industry expert as saying this is the reason why Star India is charging higher than the usual. However, Star had claimed not to have raised the tariff.

Airtel Digital TV hit back at Star India

Reacting to Star India’s attack, Airtel Digital TV told FE Online, “We are shocked at the malicious, misleading and defamatory campaign based on blatant lies being run by Star TV. There is no truth, whatsoever, in Star TV’s assertion that Airtel Digital TV is unilaterally increasing prices of Star TV channels across its packs. We urge customers and public at large not to fall for these lies.”

“It is public knowledge that Star TV recently made a massive bid to acquire exclusive rights to a popular sporting event and is now left with no option but to arm-twist and extract the sunk cost from DTH/Cable operators and advertisers,” Airtel Digital TV further said, adding, “The fact is that Star TV has been demanding an unreasonable hike in rates from Airtel Digital TV. Passing on such a steep hike in charges to our customers in the form of higher pack rates is not an option for us. Since Star TV has taken such an unreasonable stand, Airtel has been forced to take Star channels on RIO basis at a high cost.”

Airtel Digital TV said they will bear the brunt of the hike in rates by Star TV. Airtel Digital TV has made following changes to its packs:

# All key Standard Definition (SD) channels from STAR network will continue to be available to Airtel Digital TV customers as part of their existing packs (no price increase). Airtel will bear the higher cost of these channels. Customers can go channel number 102 on Airtel Digital TV or www.airtel.in/dthinfo to get complete details of how to activate these channels.

# We have also ensured that our customers have continued access to LIVE sporting events, including the upcoming IPL 2018. Star Sports 1 and Star Sports 1 Hindi would be available to all eligible consumers.

# Popular High Definition (HD) channels from Star TV will also be available as part of select packs. Other HD channels from Star TV will be available on the a-la-carte basis and Airtel Digital TV will only charge customers what Star TV is charging it, not a Rupee more.

It was reported earlier that apart from Bharti Airtel, Dish TV was also at loggerheads with Star India. This was due to the rate revision of channels ahead of the Indian Premier League (IPL). The Indian Premier League starts on April 7.

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