Dec 16, 2008

Business - DishTV to premier new movies; targets 9 million subscribers by 2010

Robin Thomas

With the economic slowdown affecting pay packets and job security like never before, people have become cautious about their spends. One of the ‘luxuries’ that is getting struck off people’s lists is a visit to the theatre to catch up on the latest release.

Keeping this in mind, DTH service provider DishTV on December 12 announced the premier of a recent Bollywood release, ‘Oye Lucky, Lucky Oye’, over their movie-on-demand (MoD) service within three and a half weeks of the film’s theatrical release. The consumer needs to shell out Rs 100 for every new movie that is premiered on the DTH platform and watch the film throughout the day.

Salil Kapoor, COO, DishTV, in a prepared statement, said, “The premiere of ‘Oye Lucky, Lucky Oye’ on DishTV will enable our 4.6 million subscribers to enjoy the latest and best of movies in the comfort of their homes. We have broadcast both Bollywood and Hollywood blockbusters like ‘Taare Zameen Par’, ‘Jab We Met’, ‘Spider Man 3’, ‘Pirates of Caribbean’, etc.”

He further said, “Many production houses have approached us for the release of their forthcoming films on DishTV, the largest DTH platform in the country. In the current scenario of multiplex sales dipping and viewers preferring to watch movies at home, this association could form a growing new revenue stream for us going forward.”

The DTH service provider has also started running trailers of the newly released movies as well, which are run on their MoD channels by default. “We are right now releasing on a co-promotion basis, but going forward, we look forward for this move to be monetised and even featured in our ad sales strategies,” Kapoor added.

Growth as per expectations

Kapoor said, “We had three million subscribers on April, 1 2008, and we have set a target to achieve five million subscribers by March 2009. Today, we are at 4.6 million subscribers and we are very sure that we will achieve more than our target very comfortably. Our focus will be on providing a wide choice of popular content across customer segments and regions and specific value-added content according to their interest levels and requirements, such as special interactive services, channel packages, and offers.”

Competition vital for DTH growth

This year also saw the entry of more players in the DTH space. The launch of Big TV and Airtel Digital has set off a price war amongst the DTH players, forcing the old players to change course in order to retain their subscribers and attract new ones. With Videocon, too, preparing to join the DTH bandwagon, the competition in this space is set to become fiercer.

Speaking about competition in the DTH space, Kapoor said, “Currently, DishTV enjoys a market share of 46 per cent in the DTH space and aims to garner 9 million subscribers by 2010. The competition has only opened up the DTH category. Having multiple players will only expand the DTH space more and hasten the adoption of the category. I believe there is huge opportunity in this space and a lot of pent-up demand for DTH in the Indian market.”

He further said, “A DTH service provider needs to achieve economies of scale, resulting in lower operating costs, breaking key price barriers for consumer adoption, as well as granting easy access to premium content.”

Part of Zee Group, DishTV’s creative duties are being handled by Lowe, while Madison Media is its media agency. DishTV has on its platform 225 channels and services, including 21 audio channels.


Saurabh said...

DTH players explore new revenue streams

Direct to Home (DTH) players are exploring new revenue streams in the pay per view (PPV) market. To add more steam to its push for PPV subscribers this season, DTH biggies such as Tata Sky and Dish TV will premiere Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! (OLLO) on December 18, consequent to which the movie will be available for four weeks versus the usual 24 hours.

UTV Motion Pictures has struck a deal with two major DTH platforms on a revenue-sharing basis, where OLLO will be the first Indian movie to hit DTH platforms in just over three weeks of release. Normally, movies have been going to DTH platforms only after 6-8 weeks and sometimes after the first satellite telecast of the movie.

A Media Partners Asia study pegs the total PPV revenues in India at $18.5 billion by 2017 while subscriptions can fetch up to $12.3 billion, advertising revenues will grow up to $6.2 billion. Worldwide too, pay-per-view revenues have grown steadily over the past decade, accelerating during the past five years with the addition of new PPV subscriber services.

The main staple for most PPV services is feature motion pictures which have been released in theatres. Salil Kapoor, COO, Dish TV, said, “The premier of OLLO on Dish TV will enable our 4.6 million subscribers to enjoy the latest and best of movies in the comfort of their home. We are the only DTH platform to broadcast Bollywood and Hollywood blockbuster movies like Taare Zameen Par, Jab We Met, and Spider Man 3.”

Dish TV believes that PPV on a long-term outlook will drive its revenues, which today consists of approximately 10-15 per cent of the Dish TV subscriber-base. Kapoor insists, “Many production houses have approached us for the release of their forthcoming films on Dish TV. In the current scenario of multiplex sales dipping and viewers preferring to watch movies at home, this association could form a growing new revenue stream for us going forward.”

A Big TV spokesperson confirms the emergence of PPV as a revenue driver. “Specifically for BIG TV, our strategy has been to provide subscription-based bundled service called Subscription Video-On-Demand (SVoD).”

Business Standard

Saurabh said...

TRAI consultation paper on interconnection issues in broadcast and cable service

Keeping in mind the stiff competition between DTH players and the cable industry, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has issued a consultation paper on interconnection issues relating to broadcasting and cable services. The last time such a consultation paper was issued on interconnection was on December 10, 2004, the regulations issued were constantly amended in order to cover new issues. The Authority has invited all stakeholders to respond to the issues raised in this consultation paper by January 12, 2009.

There has been a marked increase in deployment of addressable platforms for distribution of TV channels in recent past. IPTV services and voluntary CAS have been rolled out by many service providers. In the near future, Head-End In The Sky (HITS) and mobile TV services are also likely to be available. The number of subscribers being served by the DTH services has also gone up significantly.

This consultation paper covers the interconnection issues for addressable platforms, interconnection issues for non-addressable platforms, general interconnection issues as well, as issues related to registration of interconnection agreements.

FDI hike not important for DTH and cable industry

TRAI had earlier recommended a hike in FDI to 74 per cent from the current 49 per cent in DTH and IPTV, which excluded the cable industry, which the Government is said to be considering. exchange4media speaks to Roop Sharma, President, Cable Operators Association of India (COAI), and Salil Kapoor, COO, DishTV to find out how much the FDI hike matters to them and their expectations from the Government.

Although a section of the cable industry is unhappy with the TRAI recommendation, Sharma has a different take on it. He said, “The cable industry does not want more than 49 per cent of the FDI, however, the fact remains that the growth in the cable industry will remain good even in 2009 despite the competition from DTH players, and no matter what, the cable industry is here to stay and give a tough fight to their competitors.”

Kapoor was of the opinion that, “Even if the FDI is hiked to 74 per cent, it will not help the industry much as we have Indian promoters and, therefore, FDI has no role to play in it. Whether or not the Government hikes FDI limit, it will be of no difference to us. We are available even in the most remote areas of the country and provide 100 per cent remote coverage, which is not so in cable and being an information industry, Government support is vital. Currently, the industry is based on total subsidy and multiple taxes, which are hurting the industry. Government support should come by way of lowering these multiple taxes, which, in turn, will help in the growth of DTH industry.”

Michael said...

The TV has taken off on a huge upswing in the recent years. Admitted that it was a little in the danger zone, thanks to the inferior quality and content of cable TV channels. Now, with the coming of satellite TV, things are different. Satellite TV changed the way we look at TV, in terms of content and the quality of entertainment.

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