Tata Sky, however, decided not switching off 11 popular channels, including Sony Max, Sony Six, SET, SET HD, Sony SAB and Aaj Tak, and made them available for existing subscribers, other than the 22 disbanded.
Tata Sky on Monday completely switched off several channels, including Max, SAB, AXN, Sony Pix, Aaj Tak and India Today TV among others, of Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) and India Today Network, leaving its over 16 million subscribers in shock. The direct-to-home (DTH) operator took the extreme action over failed commercial negotiations with the two broadcast networks.
Tata Sky, however, decided 11 popular channels to be made available for existing subscribers. These channels included Sony Max, Sony Six, SET, SET HD, Sony SAB, Sony Ten 1 HD, Sony Ten 1, Sony Ten 2 HD, Sony Ten 3, Sony Pix HD and Aaj Tak, it said in the statement. However, customers who wish to watch missing channels can give a missed call to Tata Sky for the activation.
While talking about the issue, Tata Sky’s CEO and MD Harit Nagpal said that the revenue sharing negotiations with Sony Pictures and the India Today Network failed as it could have forced the DTH operator to raise the prices. Therefore, it decided to drop a few channels and carry on with the popular ones. “…we are paying Sony much more for the 11 channels retained on the A la Carte rate, versus the contracted rate for 3 times these channels,” he added.
Meanwhile, Sony Pictures said in a sperate statement that Tata Sky switched off 22 Sony Pictures channels from its subscription, despite the fact that Sony Pictures did not increase the prices of the channels. He further added that by unilaterally dropping the channels, Tata Sky is not acting in consumer’s interest.