Top direct-to-home (DTH) players Airtel Digital, Sun TV and Dish TV have decided to discontinue carrying ESPN HD and Star Cricket HD in protest at a sudden hike in tariffs by the broadcasters, according to the Times of India. This comes just before the start on 25 December of the much-anticipated India-Pakistan series.
ESPN HD has gone from Rs 40 per month to Rs 142; while Star Cricket HD has risen from Rs 40 per month to Rs 120.
However, Tata Sky, Videocon D2H and Reliance Big TV will continue telecasting the HD versions of the sports channels.
Salil Kapoor, Dish TV CEO, told the Times of India: "This sort of increase before the start of such a series is not justified and we have decided to not carry these channels on the HD platform. Broadcasters need to be more sensitive about pricing although we are still hoping some sort of a solution can be achieved before the series starts."