On 26th May, Tata Sky added half a dozen new channels. The direct-to-home (DTH) operator has already added 5 HD channels some time back. The list of new channel includes Hindi Khabar (channel no 583), Gulistan News (channel no 1179), FTV India (channel no 772), Care World (channel no 773), Digvijay 24×7 (channel no 1644) and Surya Comedy (channel no 1854).
Dish TV India is planning to launch its OTT business. For this, the DTH operator is already incorporating a wholly-owned subsidiary. DTH players are fast evolving, as all over the world people are moving to OTT and new media. They are increasingly using new media platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hotstar. Films are being premiered on Netflix. The arrival of Reliance Jio has also fuelled OTT growth.
The DTH operator Dish TV reported a dismal performance for FY17 due to demonetization and Reliance Jio’s free packages. The loss in the fiscal fourth quarter was mainly due to fall in subscription revenue and package downgrading by existing subscribers. The impact of Reliance Jio, though limited, was felt in urban areas. Reliance Jio influenced consumer usage patterns.
A good news for all potential actors dreaming to make it big in Bollywood: Tata Sky, along with FTheCouch (FTC), has launched its latest interactive service called Acting Adda to not only offer acting lessons to all those who harbour filmy dreams but also offer a platform where they can send auditions and try for their big break from the comfort of their homes.
On May 9, Dish TV–Videocon d2h merger proposal has got the green light from the Competition Commission of India (CCI). Now the merged group would become the largest DTH company in the country with a market share of 45 per cent, and the second-largest DTH company in the world by subscribers, behind DirecTV. As of 31 December 2016, Dish TV’s net subscriber base stood at 15.3 million and Videocon d2h at 12.77 million. The combined subscriber strength of Dish TV and Videocon d2h thus exceeds 28 million.
In the latest 34th e-auction, DD’s free direct-to-home (DTH) platform Freedish has earned Rs 24 crore from the sale of three slots, each at Rs 8 crore. Sony Wah, Zee Anmol Cinema and 9X Jalwa bought the three slots. This is surprising as in the previous e-auction DD Freedish could not get any bidder at this price, which is the highest so far.
To give kids an interruption-free movie experience, DTH operator Tata Sky has launched an ad-free special movie service on 3rd May. Tata Sky Kids Cinema is free for subscribers, and is available in HD. The channel is a mix of Indian and international movies.
Despite an unimpressive show at the last e-auction, DD Freedish will stick to its reserve price of Rs 8 crore for selling new slots in the forthcoming 34th e-auction to be held on 9th May. The auction is open for only non-news channels.
Dish TV, India’s major DTH operator, has entered the elite club by getting Level 4 (CMMI-DEV and CMMI-SVC V1.3) of the Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) certification. The Software Engineering Institute (SEI) website includes only 15 Indian companies which, in the last three years, have been certified at Level 4 or 5.
Videocon d2h and Visiware International have reached a partnership for latter’s flagship international gaming channel Playin’TV, which is expected to enrich Videocon d2h’s subscribers with gamification features, which include major entertainment licenses and innovative features.
The Direct-to-Home operator, Dish TV has achieved the distinction of becoming the first company in its sector to have almost fullymigrated to the GST regime in all the states, except Himachal Pradesh as the state has not yet opened the migration.
According to Information and Broadcasting Minister Venkaiah Naidu, Direct-to-home (DTH) operators need 68 additional transponders to accommodate more television channels on their platform. He said, “As on date, there is a committed demand from the DTH service providers for 68 more transponders.”
Currently, DD FreeDish offers 124 channels including HD channels, but now the DTH platform of Doordarshan, is going to take this number to 250 in the next 24 months, according to RajyavardhanRathore, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, who also told the Parliament thatDoordarshan’s DD National channel has been uplinked in HD format since 1st January this year.
The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) has directed the Department of Space (DoS) to block the signals of Asia Broadcast Satellite (ABS), which is beaming in India without licence from the ministry. ABS is running a free DTH platform on the lines of Doordarshan’s Freedish. It has even added many popular Indian TV channels on its platform.
For the very first time, DD Freedish has reserved the upcoming auction of vacant slots for non-news channels and set the floor price at a record high of Rs 8 crore. This will be the first auction of DD Freedish’s slots in the new fiscal year 2017-18. The e-auction for non-news channels will be conducted on 11th April. Earlier (32nd e-auction), the reserve price for news and non-news channels was hiked from Rs 4.3 crore to Rs 4.8 crore.
To counter Doordarshan’s Freedish, Dish TV has started to offer a package of only free-to-air (FTA) channels; the aim is to tap into low-end customer segments. The new plan does not include any pay channel and is priced at Rs 1,149 (including taxes) for 3 years. In order to make the offer competitive, Dish TV is offering over 100 FTA channels.
Videocon d2h has reached a deal with Sony Liv, a video-on-demand (VoD) platform by Sony Pictures Networks India, for its HD Smart Connect set-top box (STB). The agreement will enable Videocon d2h’s HD Smart Connect STB customers to access Sony Liv app and enjoy its content. Netflix has similar deal with Sony Liv.
Dish TV’s total channel strength has touched 615, as it has recently added 23 new channels including 9 HD ones to its basket. Now Dish TV’s HD portfolio has 68 channels. The new HD channels are: Maa HD 1605, Asianet HD 1901, Star Gold Select HD 381, Star Jalsha HD 1403, Jalsha Movies HD 1430, Star Pravah HD 1205, Star Sports Select HD2 646, Cineplex HD 383 and BBC Earth HD 828.
To woo Indian customers who like foreign content, Tata Sky has launched ‘Tata Sky World Series’ an exclusive platform for foreign content. The pop-up service has premiered first with Italian language crime drama, Gomorrah on March 19. This programme will run for a month with English subtitles with one new episode a day along with previous episodes available throughout the day. The crime drama will be available to all Tata Sky subscribers via Tata Sky’s Set-Top-Box & Tata Sky Mobile App at no extra cost.
To know whether it will violate any anti-trust laws, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has asked the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to give its views on the merger of two big direct-to-home (DTH) companies Dish TV India and Videocon d2h. “CCI has reached out to us. We are still evaluating the case and haven’t reached a decision. TRAI is expected to respond to the request in a few days. According to the Competition Commission of India Act, 2002, the regulator can seek opinions of other authorities. CCI is expecting a reply within 60 days.. “TRAI has been consulted for an opinion on where the players stand in the market,” a CCI official said.
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