Maharashtra cable operators' federation formed

Written By Unknown on Sabtu, 20 Juli 2013 | 22.23

MUMBAI: More than 500 cable operators from Mumbai and neighbouring areas met at Rang Sharda auditorium in Bandra, Mumbai recently and established their federation in order to consolidate the strength and strongly take up their demand with higher authorities.

The meeting was called by Arvind Prabhu and Jagdish Joshi. The huge turnout and unanimous support from more than 500 cable operators was a pleasant surprise.

The aim of the federation is to create a collective voice for the large number of Last Mile Operators in Maharashtra. The federation will project the LCOs' view point in a collective voice to the I&B ministry, the TRAI, broadcasters & MSOs. The federation hopes to create a distinct identity for LCOs in Maharashtra state, voicing their long felt needs, expressing practical difficulties faced in operations and conveying to the public at large the services and achievements by LCOs.

Shakeel Shaikh, a cable operator from Chembur said that a Maharashtra federation is essential and was long overdue. Without it, cable operators will perish under pressure tactics by broadcasters, DTH platforms and MSOs.

Shailesh from Big Star Welfare at Worli pointed out that they were a cooperative of 60-70 small cable operators who have been able to address broadcasters and MSOs better, with a collective voice. A large federation such as one representing all cable operators in Maharashtra would go a long way.

Uday Salvi, an LCO from Worli cautioned that many associations had started in the past but they did not benefit LCOs. When the associations became powerful enough, the office bearers of the association turned into distributors, for their own personal gain. He hoped this would not happen again.

Federation's tasks

1. Enroll local cable operators from all over Maharashtra.

2. Seek clarification on whether the Maharashtra Entertainment Tax of Rs.45 is levied per home or per STB.

3. Express views and concerns to the TRAI from the LCO view point.

4. Strive to ensure that all Marathi channels are offered Free-To-Air, within the state.

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