Cable operators face an 80% drop in the collection of subscription fees

NEW DELHI: The national 21-day blockade has added to the issues with collecting subscription fees that fell more than 80 percent in the past 3 weeks, as many societies and residents' welfare associations (APRs) have imposed restrictions on entry to their complexes.

After cable television was allowed as an essential service, operators have been able to get their limited staff to deal with network-related problems. Without public transportation, staff staying in faraway places have been unable to attend.

Several have appealed to Trai ( Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of India ), MIB (Ministry of Information and Broadcasting), respective MSOs (multiple system operators) to adopt postpaid services for the month of April or to issue credit facilities to operators who cannot collect.

The AIDCF (All) MSO body has decided to keep only the mandatory Door Darshan channels active for any STB that is not renewed in April.

Cable operators have to make payments to their respective MSOs in advance if they want to activate any channel/package. While all MSOs obtain credit from almost 30 to 60 days before making any payment to the broadcasters. This is mainly due to the fact that MSO has to generate monthly usage reports for the month, based on which the broadcasters will increase their bills.

Therefore, the associations have advised operators to request customers to pay their subscription fees online using NEFT/UPI/wallets/credit or debit cards. Operators have also been asked to downgrade customers to Free Channel Packages (FTA), which do not make online payments, as most visits are made on news channels (most of which are channels FTA) and DD provide replays of their popular serials at no cost, these can be activated to

customers making payments.

In more than 25 to 30 years, cable networks have been through various natural calamities, but we have always made sure that subscribers approach uninterrupted services. We ask customers to endorse their respective operators as a sign of solidarity using any online convenience method to pay or speak to their operator and exercise their best option, the operators appealed.

Cable operators are free to charge a convenience fee of up to Rs 30 per month to a customer to renew services without any upfront payment. Customers can opt for this by calling/sending messages to their respective cable networks and confirming their willingness to pay the same.