Companies

DTH providers raise sales pitch

Our Bureau KOLKATA | Updated on February 22, 2011 Published on February 22, 2011

What’s next? High-definition telecasts, of course! — K. Pichumani   -  The Hindu



From providing advertisement-free coverage of cricket matches through high definition (HD) feed, lowering entry price to offering sports channels for free, DTH (direct-to-home) providers are showering offers. Introduced first during the FIFA World Cup last year, HD-enabled channels have become popular amongst subscribers for their better picture and sound clarity.

To attract more customers, Dish TV has increased the number of HD channels from four to 30. It has also lowered its entry price from Rs 2,990 to Rs 2,330 and clubbed the HD coverage of French Open tennis tournament to sweeten the offer.

DTH service providers such as Tata Sky Ltd, Dish TV, Airtel Digital TV and Reliance Digital TV have acquired rights for HD coverage of matches. HD coverage is available at an extra cost of around Rs 150 over the package cost.

GROWING DEMAND

Says Mr Sugato Banerji, chief marketing officer, Airtel Digital TV, Bharti Airtel: “We are expecting an increasing number of subscribers to opt for the HD format.” The company is expecting a 15 per cent increase in subscriber base during this cricket season.

Reliance Digital TV also confirmed a rising sales graph. The company has sold more connections in the first two weeks of February than the combined sales of December and January.

“We are expecting to end this month with 40 per cent growth in subscription over the combined sales of December and January,” said Mr Umesh Rao, chief marketing officer and senior vice-president, Reliance Digital TV.

Reliance has introduced round-the-clock customer support facilities to redress any transmission problems.

PRICE WAR

Meanwhile, Sun Direct, which is providing standard definition feed, has unleashed a price war. The company is offering free sports channels for “long term” (6-12 months) subscribers. For other subscribers, sports channel prices have been pegged lower than competitors'.

“Our subscribers buy sports channels during events and not annually. We expect the offer to go down well,” Sun Direct said in an e-mailed response.

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Published on February 22, 2011
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