Star India channels will be available on reference interconnection offer (RIO) from 1 August, announced direct-to-home (DTH) operator Sun Direct in its recently released public notice. Sun Direct will take Star channels out of its packages. It has four SD packages each for Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam. For the rest of India, it has three SD packages. It also has 12 HD packages for each of the four South Indian languages and six HD packages for the rest of India.
The DTH company ‘Sun Direct’ has posted a net profit of Rs. 32.21 crore for the financial year which ended on 31 March 2017. Owned by Kalanithi Maran-promoted Sun group, Sun Direct has turned profitable at the net level for the full fiscal for the first time.
Naxal affected areas will be given free DTH STBs by the public broadcaster Prasar Bharati which will distribute around 10 lakh units in coming times. The government wants to reach the people where media does not reach, and people often get rumours and false news which cause hatred, extremism and bloodsheds.
Currently, 30% stake of DTH company Tata Sky is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox. He is trying to increase the stake percentage in the DTH company. This is not only time, Murdoch had always wanted to increase the stake in Tata Sky. The new development comes in the wake of the Tata group and Bharti Airtel reportedly holding exploratory talks to evaluate a broader alliance involving their telecom, overseas cable and enterprise services, and DTH businesses, though 21st Century Fox maintains its existing shareholding in case Tata Sky and Airtel Digital TV decide to merge.
President Sh. Pranab Mukherjee has launched 32 direct-to-home educational channels under the name Swayam Prabha to telecast high-quality free educational content.
Reliance Communications is under massive financial stress, and to restructure its debt, Anil Ambani owned group has a plan to sell its direct-to-home (DTH) business, Reliance Digital TV. Recently, it gave a presentation to lenders about its long-term debt reduction plan. The list of possible sale also includes some other assets such as real estate and under-sea cable.
Bharti Enterprises and Tata Group are seriously exploring to have an alliance involving their telecom, overseas cable and enterprise services, and direct-to-home TV businesses.
As per the Performance Indicator Report released recently by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the total active subscriber base of the six private direct-to-home (DTH) operators grew 12% in the calendar year 2016 to 62.65 million from 55.98 million in the previous year.
Tata Sky users may now immerse themselves in the nostalgia of cinema’s golden era with Tata Sky’s new ‘Classic Cinema’ service. Tata Sky— India’s leading content distribution platform launched ‘Classic Cinema’, with an ad featuring veteran actress and queen of hearts -Sharmila Tagore. In partnership with Shemaroo Entertainment Ltd., the service aims to turn the clock back and relive the best of Hindi cinema from a handpicked collection of timeless classics of the 1950s, 60s and 70s.
Videocon d2h, the direct-to-home (DTH) arm of Videocon Group, has added 71 regional content based channels this year. The list includes two news channels, JK 24×7 and Gulistan News, for Videocon d2h subscribers in Jammu & Kashmir.
Tata Sky, the leading DTH operator, has broadened its partnership with QYOU to feature the online video content on TV screens for its users. QYOU is curator of premium web video for multi-screen distribution. Earlier, the feature was previously available through Tata Sky’s mobile app.
Enthused by the success of the last two e-auctions, Doordarshan’s free DTH platform Freedish has hiked the reserve price of news channels to Rs 6.5 crore for the 36th e-auction, which will be conducted on 4 July. Until the 32nd e-auction, the reserve price for news and non-news channels was the same at Rs 4.8 crore.
The DTH Operator Dish TV is planning to add 1.3 million new subscribers in FY18. Dish TV is also expecting a marginal increase in its ARPU. In FY17, Dish TV managed to add 1.02 million fresh subscribers. In total, 6 DTH companies added 11 million subscribers in FY17 compared to 11.6 million new customers in the preceding year.
The Direct-to-Home (DTH) operators submitted a list of their concerns with the telecom regulator TRAI. The list of concerns included over-the-top (OTT) platforms, DD Freedish, satellite crunch and the licensing process. The DTH operators requested the regulator to regulate the over-the-top (OTT) video delivery platforms such as Hotstar, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
The direct-to-home (DTH) companies of the country appreciate GST as it is expected to lower the tax burden on them, yet they are very apprehensive about the local bodies who may also tax them. If it happens, all the good things of GST will come to nothing.
At 35th e-auction, Doordarshan sold two slots on its free direct-to-home (DTH) platform Freedish for the same rates which were charged during the previous auction- Rs. 8 crore per slot. NewsX has become the first English news channel to buy a slot on Freedish. The other slot went to a Hindi movie channel, RT Movies.
The promoters of Sun Direct don’t need to infuse equity funding as the DTH operator has a capital expenditure plan of Rs 1,475 crore for the next three financial years. The direct-to-home (DTH) company is 80% owned by Kalanithi Maran and his wife and 20% by Malaysia’s Astro. The intent is to have a debt funding of Rs 450 crore during FY18–FY20. The future capital expenditure of the company is expected to be supported through internal accruals and debt, with no further dependence on promoters’ contribution.
DTH operator Dish TV has reached a deal with Disney India to start Disney Active service, which will be available on Channel No. 966. The introductory price was fixed at Rs. 40 per month. The top features include the games featuring classic Disney characters like Mickey & Friends, Tinker Bell and more.
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