Cable operators black out entertainment channels
Many citizens across the city were inconvenienced with the suspension of the broadcasting of entertainment channels on set-top boxes run by cable TV operators since Saturday evening. Those who subscribed to branded Direct-To-Home (DTH) services though continued to get all channels.
The Mumbai Cable Operators’ Association (MCOA), headed by Sena leader and Member of Legislative Council Anil Parab, forced citizens to watch the funeral procession of Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray by suspending the broadcast of entertainment channels.
Sanjay Chatterjee, a Sion resident, said: “I wanted to watch a movie on Saturday but couldn’t as the theatres shut. I decided to watch a movie on TV but found that the entertainment channels have been blacked out.”
Rajan Desai, a Bandra resident, said it was an ‘unprecedented’ move by cable operators. “It was never done in the past. How can they force us to watch only the channels they want us to?” asked Desai.
Deepal Parmar, a resident of Andheri, said that after the cable operators blocked all entertainment channels, her only solace was the social networking sites. “I am glad they did not block the internet service,’’ she said.
However, the MCOA continued broadcasting sports channels and defended it, saying it was not entertainment. “We have suspended services since 6pm on Saturday to mourn the death of Sena chief Bal Thackeray. The cricket is an event which is why we continued broadcasting the sports channels,” said Atul Saras, founder member of MCOA. Saras added the services will be resumed in the midnight or on Monday morning.