Disney awaits India decision

TV service launch stalled

NEW DELHI — Disney’s plan to launch a 24-hour pay TV service in India has stalled as the Mouse House continues to battle with its local Indian partner, Modi Entertainment Network.

Disney had earlier partnered with Modi to launch two ventures in India: a Disney Channel and a classic movie web based on Disney’s feature library. But in October the Mouse sought to dissolve the partnership by filing an application with the government to launch the movie web independently.

Modi challenged Disney’s government application on the grounds that Disney’s exclusive contract with Modi was still binding.

The Indian government has so far favored Modi and prohibited Disney from launching a free-to-air satellite TV service, though it can launch a feevee service independently.

The government also aims to ensure there is no conflict of interest between the two parties and has allowed Modi to continue to sell Disney programming to Indian nets.

A delegation of senior Disney execs is expected to visit New Delhi next month when the government’s final decision is expected.

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