Sky, the newest direct-to-home (DTH) TV services provider
claims to be on track to cross the one million subscribers
in the first year of its launch.
competition in the DTH space heats up, Tata Sky is doing
some number crunching. The company has just completed
40 days of operation, and says that at present it has
roped in one-lakh subscribers, and is on track to cross
one million within a year of operation.
to Vikram Kaushik, managing director and CEO, Tata Sky,
"We have seen an astounding response, in fact there
have been 17.5-million hits on our website in the first
seven days. Right now we have 100,000 subscribers and
we are right on track to hit the one-million mark in a
its first month Tata Sky has tried to lure customers through
its many value-added interactive services branded ''Actve''.
It has eight Actve services like Actve Khabar, Actve Sports
and the newly launched Actve Whiz Kids among others. The
company believes that these value additions will help
it score over competition.
Sky''s introductory subscription offer of Rs200 and is
inclusive of all taxes, but this is bound to go up soon
as the company increases its reach and adds more channels
to its bouquet. But the quantum of rise is not known yet.
says, "Our rates for now are Rs200 per month, without
any hidden costs. We will increase it and it will be driven
by market factors. Rates will be competitive, but I cannot
say what exactly we will increase it to."
other player in the DTH space is Essel Group''s Dish TV,
which has been in the market for almost three years, and
has around 13 lakh subscribers currently, and hopes to
double this number this fiscal.
Sky currently does not offer its rival Dish TV''s Zee channels,
but the company says it is in talks with Zee Turner and
will offer its channels within a few weeks.
the urban reach of such services is obvious, what Tata
Sky also claims is that its B2B tie-ups with ITC, e-Choupal
and Godrej are helping it to reach rural India too.
have customers all over India. Our services are available
in 3,200 cities. In fact, 30 per cent of our connections
are in rural India. We have tie-ups with companies like
ITC and initiatives like e-Choupal, where our digicomps
are being retailed and we are also offering pre-paid cards,"
TV is not far behind it is talking to tech firms for deals
like the one that it has with HCL for technical support
and Open TV for interactive news service.
sure have their plate full with cable TV, Dish TV and
soon coming CAS services, but it remains to be seen how
soon can DTH services take over cable TV.
think for a long time cable and DTH service will co-exist,
in most countries abroad too both these services co-exists.
However, the ratio differs. We do not see a cable wipe
out soon, but we feel that with the kind of value-added
services that we offer, most consumers should switch to
the new phenomenon of IPTV or Internet TV is the next
technology these DTH players might have to compete against.
Agrawal, general manager (broadband services), MTNL, recently
said, ''We are looking to launch IPTV in the next few months,
hopefully by October.''
Tata Sky feels this technology has been talked about for
the past few years and won''t become a reality any time
soon. "I have been hearing about IPTV for the past
few years, but I don''t think it will become a reality
in another five to seven years. I don''t see it coming
into India soon,'' says Kaushik.
S Rana, executive director, MTNL (Mumbai), added, "IPTV
will be launched soon, through this one would get over
200 channels, along with video-on-demand, on the existing
TV using a set-top box, on a monthly rental basis."
is not all, the competition will become more fierce as
ADAG enters the DTH space. ADAG''s service has got the
government''s approval and should be operational by under
the name of Reliance Blue Magic by mid-2007.
now needs to be seen how soon DTH operators convince cable
subscribers to switch to their services.