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UAE viewers in the dark as several Star television channels stop broadcasting

Viewers said they noticed that the channels were taken off-air on January 2 and some of them were still unavailable on Tuesday.

DUBAI // Subscribers to the OSN and du networks were left fuming after Star television channels stopped broadcasting.

Viewers said they noticed the channels were taken off air on January 2 and some of them were still unavailable on Tuesday.

“My in-laws were upset when the telecast stopped suddenly,” said Savitha Ashok, an Indian who subscribes to du’s television package.

“My dad-in-law watches Star Vijay extensively and my kids are hooked on the Mahabharat series. I thought it was a problem with only our network.”

When Ms Ashok called du, a recorded message informed her that the channels had been pulled off air because of an issue with “the parent channel”.

OSN said a disruption had occurred for four days from January 2, but the six Star channels had resumed on Sunday. It said the channels were off air because of an agreement that was being signed with the group.

“We have signed a multi-year partnership with Star Middle East to continue to provide OSN Pehla subscribers Star’s extremely popular channels,” said David Butorac, OSN’s chief executive.

“As part of contractual agreement terms, in the short interim period before the agreement was signed, South Asian Star channels were not telecast on OSN Pehla and du for a few days.

“We apologise for the inconvenience caused. Star Middle East’s South Asian channels are currently on air (since 6 January), offering OSN Pehla viewers seamless access to their favourite content.

“Through the agreement, OSN and Star Middle East are reiterating their commitment to provide the best in South Asian television content for subscribers in the Middle East and North Africa region.”

Some of Star’s channels that broadcast in the UAE are Star Plus, Star Gold, Life OK, Channel V India and ABP News.

Ms Ashok said: “Some channels were back on Tuesday but there was a lot of disturbance and the shows kept freezing. We had to change the channels and keep coming back for it to resume.”

Another angry viewer said her weekend had been ruined after the channels were abruptly turned off.

“We couldn’t watch any of our favourite shows like Nach Baliye, Koffee with Karan or Arjun,” said Vela Shah. “There are no reruns for some of these shows.”

Mahabharat is a mythological drama series while Nach Baliye is a reality dance show and Koffee with Karan is a popular talk show with the renowned Bollywood director, Karan Johar.

pkannan@thenational.ae

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