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Company has no control over cable changes – CEO

Company has no control over cable changes – CEO

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Karib Cable customers will have to accept the changes to its basic packages, Kelly Glass, the company’s managing director and founder said Friday.{{more}}

He said on Hot 97 FM’s “AM Mayhem,” hosted by Chris ‘Too Cool’ Jones, that his company had no control over the situation.

“We have been trying to negotiate for a month or so, but they (HBO) came down on us like a ton of bricks and said that the first of October was the first of October,” Glass said.

Glass was responding to a statement in Parliament by Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves on Thursday.

Gonsalves told lawmakers that if Karib Cable does not improve its service to Vincentians, investors would be actively sought to give them competition in this market.

The prime minister said he considers it “gross disrespect” that the telecommunications company changed its channel line-up without an explanation to Vincentians.

He also said Karib Cable’s service to its consumers in St Lucia, is “far superior” to what is being offered in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

But Glass said HBO made two categorical statements —that the cable network will no longer be shown in the basic package and that Starz, Showtime, Encore or Westerns will also not be shown.

“That is what they gave to us and we had to pull the line,” he said.

Glass said HBO had been pulled in St Lucia.

He further explained that HBO was paid US$90,000 monthly for programming and that the amount was the same for one channel as it was if there was a request for more.

“They don’t say look have a la carte one channel, two channels … If you want one channel you pay the same for six channels,” he said.

Glass, however, apologised for the short notice, saying that he thought he would have been able to negotiate a better deal.

“But they came down on us and said to disconnect the channels … we had no choice we were up against the ropes,” Glass said.

He added that he would try to re-negotiate a deal for the Western channel to return, adding even if the negotiations fail, he will find a replacement.

Regarding the advertisements in Spanish, Glass said this has now become “a thorn in my side”.

“But, once you are South of Miami, they assume everybody speaks Spanish,” he said.

Again, he said that the company could do nothing about that, but that they were trying to get rid of the Spanish subtitles from movies in English.

“It’s burnt from the source, but we are looking at it.”

Glass said the new feeds were more stable and the HBO package being offered through the HBO Latin Group means movies will be shown sooner than in the United States.

But Glass said the company has become unpopular since the removal of HBO, Starz and Showtime in its basic programming, but he pleaded with the public to stay with the company.

He said the cost of operation was increasing but that the company was trying to bring value.

“We know times are hard and nobody appreciates that more than me and we are trying to keep costs down and the service up,” Glass said. (DD)

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