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Big TV's DTH launch to set off price war

May 05, 2008 19:36 IST

The battle for subscribers in the direct-to-home space is set to get hotter, with new player Big TV expected to fire a price war.

Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group's Big TV will be commercially launched sometime in May and is looking at tying up over 5 to 5.5 million subscribers even before its launch.

The company will soon offer a special subscription package to the Reliance Energy customers and Reliance PCO retailers.

Under the Big TV offer, customers will have to pay only Rs 1,000 upfront (including set-to-box and installation charges) to take a connection. Subscribers will pay a monthly fee of Rs 325, and can download movies and games amounting to Rs 100 free of charge.

The offer will be made to group company Reliance Energy's customer base of around 3.5 million and 2 million PCOs controlled by Reliance Communications.

When contacted, a Reliance Communications spokesperson declined to comment on the issue.

The Reliance offer is priced substantially lower vis-a-vis competitors.

Tata's DTH service has an upfront cost of Rs 2,000 in addition to a monthly fee of Rs 200-Rs 350, whereas Dish TV charges Rs 3,150 initially and monthly fees ranging between Rs 100 and Rs 300. Big TV faces a formidable challenge from Dish TV and Tata Sky, which together have over 4.8 million customers. And they are keeping their strategies close to their chest.

"We will have to evaluate not just the price, but also their offering in terms of marketing mix," said Vikram Kaushik, MD and CEO, Tata Sky.

"We will react only after the commercial launch," said the spokesperson of Dish TV.

Aminah Sheikh in Mumbai
Source: source