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Price war: Dish TV offers basic channels for free

October 10, 2012 15:33 IST
Signalling an imminent price war in the direct-to-home (DTH) industry, Dish TV, the largest DTH services provider in India, today announced that it will offer 70 channels in the basic tier free to its subscribers in the four metros.

With just three weeks left for the switch-over from analogue to digital in the four metros, more such offers from DTH players are expected as they fight in a fiercely competitive space.

Under Dish TV's offer, the customers will be eligible to receive a basic channel tier comprising of 70 channels free of cost for life. Interestingly, for the multi system operators (MSOs), the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has recommended Rs 100 for basic tier per month to their subscribers.

Viewers availing Dish TV's offer will have to remain active by subscribing to a regular package at least twice during a year, the company said.

RC Venkateish, Chief Executive Officer of Dish TV said, "This is a never before kind of unique facility for all those valued subscribers who will choose our services during digitisation. This is a highly differentiated and extremely consumer friendly move.

Consumers in the four metros are apprehensive about this sudden switch off of their highly valued TV viewing. This will translate into huge competitive advantage for Dish TV as none of the other competitors both from cable as well as DTH offer this facility, moreover as stated above Cable operators have already announced a Rs 100 monthly charge for Basic tier, which will be provided free of cost by Dish TV."

Adding further, Dish TV COO Salil Kapoor said, "For the subscribers 'switch off' of the services or their TV going blank suddenly cuts of their information and entertainment lifeline. Dish TV is now ensuring that this lifeline never gets cuts of for their valued subscribers. Our endeavour of never ending commitment to our consumers to provide highly differentiated competitive advantage over cable and other DTH making us the platform of choice."

The move, if copied by other players, may affect the already low ARPU (average revenue per user) levels of the DTH industry, experts believe. However, industry pundits also add that if DTH win over cable in the first phase, they have a huge upside of sheer volume, which will eventually more than compensate for such offers.

Gaurav Laghate in Mumbai
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