Direct to Home (DTH) operator Airtel Digital TV earlier today removed Free to Air (FTA) International English music channel 9XO from its platform as the suspension of the channel operations nearby.
According to pictures shared by our community forum member Rajkumar, channel number 509 wherein 9XO used to air on Airtel DTH is now showing a banner that states ‘This channel is no longer available on Airtel Digital TV’. 9XO as we had reported earlier is set to suspend its operations effective 31st May 2020.
9X Media has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic leading to a downfall in revenues for it, forcing it to take some strategic business decisions. 9XO shutdown is part of the strategy with 9X also exiting DD Free Dish with the withdrawal of its FTA Music channel 9X Jalwa. 9X Media channels have also been disconnected from MSO GTPL Hathway’s platform.
To recall, Airtel Digital TV had earlier in March served 9X Media a disconnection notice. The disconnection notice was for all the channels bar 9X Tashan. Airtel however kept giving the broadcaster temporary credit extending the disconnection notice on multiple times with the latest extension given yesterday, setting the disconnection date as 3rd June. The disconnection date of 9XM, 9X Jalwa, and 9X Jhakaas was extended while the removal date of 9XO was revised as 22nd May.
9XO shutdown will give Vh1 a free run in the English music genre with no competitors against it. Vh1 had last week stated that it had garnered over 10 million weekly tune-ins for three consecutive weeks with 6x higher viewership than the competition.
The cheap pricing at Rs 1 per month, packaging in Colors Wala bouquets, and proper distribution across distribution platforms pitted against DTH Value Added Service (VAS) channels which are fairly costly leave a very open road for Vh1 to dominant English music genre completely.