With Tata Sky, the rules of Skies will Change
Wednesday - May 24, 2006
A television revolution is upon with Tata Sky, the 80:20 joint venture between the Tata's and Rupert Murdoch owned Star TV, as the service has lined up a bouquet of value added services to lure subscribers into its direct-to-home (DTH) platform.
The $500 million Tata Sky is planning to introduce pre-paid cards of various denominations, which will be readily available in retail shelves. The company also proposes to set a benchmark in customer service by installing the hardware and servicing faults directly at the customer premises.
Vikram Kaushik, CEO, Tata Sky, said that currently the company is trying to focus more on customer convenience, for which it has lined up a slew of initiatives. At a time when the pay TV market in India is undeserved by a limitation of the current analogue cable systems, one has to wait and see how much Tata Sky's efforts bear fruit. "In the days to come, the Indian subscriber can expect a wide choice of content, superior picture quality and efficient after-sales service." Kaushik said.
The DTH service allows to bypass the cable operator, thereby allowing you to get uninterrupted transmission, it uplinks all the channels to a satellite, which in turn sends the channels to a mini-dish that is fixed on your balcony or terrace and the dish then relays the channels to the set-top box placed above your television.
With Dish TV, one has to approximately pay a monthly subscription of Rs 60 for the free to air channels and Rs 300 for access to its entire package of a 100 plus channels, which is set to increase. By the end of this year, Dish TV should be offering around 200 channels and this is only the beginning, the company claims.
However, Zee and Star, have still not been able to arrive at a compromise that would allow them to broadcast each other's channels on their respective DTH platforms, says Kaushik, "Our endeavor is to get all existing popular channels on its platform. We are at various stages of discussion with all the major broadcasters in this regard and are confident that they will come on the Tata Sky platform."
According to a recent study, Dish TV and Doordarshan Direct + (the two current players in the DTH market) already have 2.26 million subscribers, the study also shows that rural sector accounts for 88% of their market, with not many cable operators doing business in the more inaccessible and rural parts of the nation, DTH helps those in villages to have access to a more holistic entertainment.
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