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Dish/Airtel/Tata Sky/Big Tv

Started by sajiv, Sep 05, 2008, 04:17 PM

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DTH eyes cable market

The fight for the market between cable networks and DTH (direct to home) providers is poised to take a bitter turn with major DTH providers in India cutting down their monthly subscription rates. The current DTH subscription rate is at par with the monthly cable charges. By dropping their monthly subscription prices to amounts ranging from Rs 182 to 249 ($3.7-5.1), DTH operators are directly targeting existing cable users.

Leading DTH operator, Dish TV, is now offering 125 channels for a subscription value as low as Rs 100 ($2) per month. The idea is clear - manipulate satellite TV viewers to shift from cable networks to DTH. These desperate measures indicate that in spite of spectacular growth, the DTH sector is weighed down by pressing problems. One of the problems is very low ARPU (average revenue per user).

DTH was launched with lots of promises four years back. The sound and picture quality would be far superior, it was claimed. Additional services such as video on demand, music on demand, and multiple viewing options were also promised. The most important was that DTH subscribers would be saved from being victims to the eternal squabbles between channel owners and cable operators. Pay channel owners would hike the channel rate every six or eight months on the pretext that cable operators were under declaring their subscription figures. Cable operators on the other hand, alleged that pay channel owners were including unpopular channels in their channel bouquet depriving viewers of prime content.

As a result, when DTH arrived it was seen as a boon for television viewers. However, DTH is at the cross roads today. Although DTH registered a compound annual growth rate of over 30 per cent, the growth has been primarily in new areas. In other words, it did not make much of a dent in the cable sector considering the fact that a large section of DTH subscribers came from areas where there was no cable network, in first place.

Four years after DTH began operations, cable networks remained the dominant mode of satellite TV distribution. Of the 120 million homes watching private satellite television, 75 million are cable TV subscribers. The fact that only one million subscribers receive digital cable service indicates that the bulk of cable TV subscribers use the traditional analog mode.

DTH has its own drawbacks. The Ku-band through which it functions experiences problems during heavy rainfalls and storms. The add-on services also failed to reach the hyped up expectations. One of the biggest myths exploded was the initial belief that DTH would be cheaper. In the initial phases, the monthly subscription rates of DTH service packages that offered all pay channels were as high as that of cable if not more. The fact that an amount of about Rs 3000 ($62) would have to be invested for the set top boxes deterred cable TV subscribers from moving over to DTH.

Cable networks also had a peculiar advantage. Most big networks ran their own TV channel (ground channel) providing hundred percent local content, especially news. The local flavour added to the popularity of the cable networks. Today, as DTH service providers are embroiled in a price war, cable networks have to device a clear cut strategy to stave off the DTH threat. Former director of Siliguri based Cable Combine Communication, the largest cable network in northern region of West Bengal, Goutam Basu feels that the significant cut in DTH subscription rates would have an impact on the cable industry as well.

"It is a bitter situation and one with the better strategy and surviving skills would remain", said Basu. "If cable networks have to survive in the long run, digitalisation is a must", he added.

Analysts estimate that DTH, which is out and out digital, will have around 20 million subscribers by 2013. At the present rate of digitalisation, digital cable is estimated to have around 5 million subscribers in the same year.

Going digital is clearly the only way out for cable networks to retain their dominant position in the long run. As for DTH, the digital factor is its greatest advantage.

Source: IT Examiner


Recession seems positive for DTH industry: Dish TV

Direct-to-Home major Dish TV, a part of Zee Group, on Tuesday said that it expects to achieve the break even point by second or third quarter of 2009-10 in the back of rising subscribers base.

The company has targeted to reach 8 million subscribers mark by next fiscal from 4.8 million at present. It also expects to attain the break even point by second or third quarter of 2009-10, Dish TV India Ltd COO Salil Kapoor told reporters here today.

He said that the economic recession may have hit several industrial sectors of the country, but it has proved fruitful for the DTH industry as the number of subscribers' base in the country have almost doubled in the last three months.

"Recession has affected DTH industry positively as... people have started controlling their entertainment bills by not going much outside for movies rather sticking to their TVs more...Because TV has become cheapest form of entertainment as of now," Kapoor said.

Presently, the company enjoys about 48 per cent market share.

He said, "During July, August and September in 2008, DTH industry was adding six lakh subscribers per month but the base jumped to one million in October, November and December when the impact of recession was actually being felt on the economy."

It is confident that the total subscribers' base of DTH industry in the country would double to 20 million per annum by 2009 from 10 million at present. Out of 220 million households in the country, there are 125-130 million TV household. "Out of which, 80-85 million are still with cable network and about 10 million are with DTH," he informed.

Dish TV has drawn a strategy in which it will focus on retaining its existing customers by taking care of their monthly bills.


Cable TV operators meeting today

VELLORE: Managing Director of Arasu Cable T.V. Corporation C. Umashankar has convened a consultation meeting with cable TV operators in Vellore district at the conference hall of the Collectorate here at 11 a.m. on Thursday. Collector C. Rajendran, in a release, requested all the cable TV operators in the district to participate in the meeting.


Shop On Your Airtel DTH via iShop

Subscribers will be able to place orders through iShop's call centre without stepping out of their homes

Now, you can indulge your craving for shopping sitting at home since Indiatimes Shopping has launched a shopping facility on Airtel's DTH interactive services platform under the brand name 'iShop.'

iShop will function as a real-time 24-hour shopping channel on television.

With iShop, Airtel DTH subscribers will get to browse through the 'iShop' catalogue and will be able to purchase electronic items, mobile phones, apparels and accessories, books and magazines, gifts and flowers, and health and beauty products.

Subscribers will be able to place orders through iShop's call centre without stepping out of their homes.

This facility will allow users various payment options like cash on delivery, cheque, and credit card.

Source- Techtree


5 lakh subscribers

Coimbatore: Big TV, Direct to Home service provider, has received 5 lakh subscribtions in the four southern States within five months of its launch.

Mahesh Prasad, president of Reliance Communications, said that Big TV was scoring impressively in the south.


Regulate cable TV subscription
The monthly subscription for Cable TV at Ramanathapuram is ranging from Rs. 120/- to Rs. 150/- per month. This is indeed very high for the middle and lower sections of people. The number of cable T.V. connections in all towns and villages is growing every day following free distribution of colour television sets by the Government. In Ramanathapuram, the receipt issued for monthly subscriptions does not reveal the name and address of the Cable TV operator and there is not even the name of the town Ramanathapuram is found. There may be around 30,000 cable connections and the quantum of amount collected every month has to be noted by the law enforcing agencies like commercial tax and income tax departments. The District Administration should regulate and fix a reasonable subscription amount to be collected every month or open the Government cable network in Ramanathapuram at the earliest in the best interest of the public.
Asmabagh Anvardeen,Ramanathapuram.

Link Vaigai with Gundar
Our Chief Minister has proposed to lay the foundation stone for the linking of Tamirabarani River with Karumeniyaru, Pachaiaru and Nambiyaru on February 9, 2009. I am much pleased to see the news.

During the rainy season, the excess water in the Vaigai River is let into the Bay of Bengal. Will the authorities link the Vaigai with Gundar and Malataru and help the drought prone district of Ramanathapuram. The tanks in Mudukulathur, Kamuthi, Kadaladi will benefit, if linked.
V. Rajendran,Paramakudi.

No taxation without sanitation
In Sivaganga town, which incidentally is the District Headquarters, the state of public hygiene is very low and deplorable. The streets are never swept, as in the past. Plastic cups, covers and dry leaves lay strewn every where.

The staff who come in the mornings collect only the domestic waste handed over to them. They refuse to pay attention to the waste lying scattered on roads, saying that "it is not their job." Street corners and road margins have become garbage centres. The less said about the drainage, the better. The waste water refuses to move or to be moved. Mosquitoes breed in plenty and hobnob with us in the evenings. The various mosquito coils and repellents drain only our money and certainly not the winged visitors. In a word, it is not hygiene, but 'lowgiene' that prevails here. Many ministers make frequent trips here but some how they miss these 'eye-catching' scenes that dot the town. But can we say, no 'taxation' without 'sanitation'? Perhaps, we can; perhaps we can't!
G.K.S. Kandasubramanian,Sivaganga.

Clean gutters
Ramanathapuram is notorious for its open gutters. Almost all the streets are flooded with open gutters. One has to negotiate more than a score of gutters in a street.

The gutters are not being cleared daily.
This aspect has not been given any due consideration by the Municipality. As a result, the gutter water becomes a nuisance to the public.

If the mandarins of the Ramanathapuram Municipality can think more prudently and plan properly, this can be avoided. Will the Municipal Commissioner accept the realities and take appropriate action to clear the gutter daily.
G. Nagasamy,Ramanathapuram.


Many TV stations to make DTV switch next week

Despite a regulator-approved delay to the nationwide digital TV switchover, more than a third of the nation's TV stations plan to begin broadcasting completely in digital next week.

The Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday released a list of 681 of the nation's 1,800 or so TV stations that plan to make the switch by February 17. TV stations were required to notify the FCC by Monday if they planned to turn off their analog TV signal on February 17.

Earlier this month, the House of Representatives passed a bill that moves the deadline for transitioning TV broadcast from analog to digital from February 17 to June 12. The Senate has also passed a similar bill. President Obama is expected to sign it into law shortly. However, a compromise provision allows broadcasters to transition to all-digital broadcasts early if they get permission from the FCC.

Congress approved the delay out of concern that 20 million people, most of whom are poor, elderly, and living in rural parts of the country, were not prepared for the transition after the government ran out of the $40 coupons it was issuing to help defray the cost of the converter boxes necessary to allow older TVs to get digital signals.

Stations have been preparing to cut off their analog broadcasts for the February 17 deadline for months. Leaving the analog signals on will likely cost them more money as they are required to pay for the additional electricity and facility costs of running multiple transmitters. Most stations have already been airing some programming in digital.

The major broadcast networks, including ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC/Telemundo, have all agreed that their owned and operated stations would continue to broadcast in analog until the new DTV transition date.


Free TV sets distributed

TIRUCHI: Free television sets have been distributed to about 2.37 lakh families in Tiruchi district so far at a cost of Rs.53 crores, Collector T.Soundiah has said.

Another 1.57 lakh families would get the television sets in the district in a phased manner, he said speaking at a special mass contact programme at Okkarai village in Thuraiyur taluk on Wednesday.

The Collector distributed welfare assistance worth Rs.30.42 lakhs to 287 beneficiaries on the occasion. Of the 210 petitions received in advance, 198 have been accepted and follow up action has been ordered.

About 310 petitions received during the camp would be processed and acted upon within the next few days, he said.


Clampdown on dish TV dealers

Dubai: The Ministry of Economy has issued directives to authorities to clamp down on unauthorised dish TV in the UAE.

The directives strongly emphasise that selling these boxes in the UAE is prohibited as it violates the national copyright law by infringing on broadcasting rights. The boxes are illegally imported from India and sold throughout the Gulf.

The ministry recently conducted inspections against unauthorised dish TV dealers, with Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah police carrying out raids in March, which led to the confiscation of a number of dish TV boxes. These marked the largest actions against dish TV dealers in the GCC. The violators were arrested and criminally charged with violation of the copyright law.

Mohammad Ahmad Bin Abdul Aziz Al Shehi, General Manager of the ministry, said, "We have requested the various parties involved to tighten control over unauthorised dish TV boxes that illegally enter through a neighbouring country and are sold in our local market.

"I would like to thank the police and concerned national bodies for their cooperation in fighting piracy and taking measures against intellectual property rights (IPR) violators."

Al Shehi emphasised that legal action will be taken against those caught violating the Ministry's order, as piracy harms the competitiveness of the UAE, which reflects negatively on the national economy. He also noted that the Ministry will firmly deal with piracy-related activities.

The UAE is a country that maintains one of the lowest piracy rates and is one of the best states in terms of fighting piracy. This is due to the effective cooperation between Federal agencies. The Police are also swift in their actions to eliminate methods of piracy.

The recent step taken by the ministry and other concerned bodies is one of the key elements in providing a healthy work environment and enhancing the competitiveness that the UAE market enjoys.

The Ministry is working on enhancing confidence in the local markets and promoting a culture of research and development which forms the basis for fostering innovation and creativity.


Dish TV unveils new package

CHENNAI: Direct-to-home (DTH) service provider Dish TV unveiled its new packaging of channels here on Wednesday. The new campaign, titled 'Sabse Zyaada', has additional channels to its basket, offered in three combinations.

Addressing presspersons V.P.Krishna Kumar, deputy vice-president, Dish TV India said customers would now have more channels for an attractive price.

"In total we are offering over 240 channels now, including 21 radio channels. About 15 film channels, 25 entertainment channels, 32 news channels, 15 kids' channels and as many as 90 regional language channels. Customers who prefer to retain their current basket of channels can still do so. Others could opt for any of the three new baskets on offer,' he says. The three new baskets of channels will be available from Rs.125 to Rs.312 per month.

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