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BIG TV to launch 60 new channels

Source: PTI
May 05, 2010 19:52 IST
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Reliance BIG TV, the DTH arm of Reliance Communications, is planning to introduce 60 more channels including its own entertainment channels in the next three months, a top company official said.

Presently, BIG TV broadcasts 236 channels. "We are planning to introduce two new transponders which will enable us to broadcast another 60 channels which include our own HD movie and entertainment channels in the next three months," Reliance Communications' chief executive officer (DTH and IPTV), Sanjay Behl, said.

He was speaking after announcing its new product of High Definition (HD) and Digital Video Recorder (DVR) service.

"Currently, we are utilising only eight transponders to broadcast over 200 channels," Behl said, adding the superior compression technology (MPEG 4) helps the company to broadcast up to 35-40 channels per transponder and with 12 transponders in hand would enable it to broadcast over 400 channels in the near future.

Besides, the company is also open to diluting up to 20 per cent stake of the company to a strategic partner.

"We are open to diluting our stake up to 20 per cent to a strategic partner. In that case there would be possibilities of Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) as well as other investors showing interest," Behl said.

In addition, the company is in talks with various global HD content providers. Reliance BIG TV has signed a HD content deal with National Geographic and over the next two-months it will launch five new HD channels and other HD content by forging strategic alliances with top global HD content providers.

"We are in talks with HD content providers like CBS, ESPN, FOX News, Discovery, HD to get HD programs including concerts, sports, movies and entertainment," he said. The company also plans to launch six new interactive services during this fiscal.

Commenting on its new product, Behl said Reliance BIG Tv is the only service provider to offer HD service with recording capability upward of 200 hours and a universal remote control in a single set-top box.

The company is offering this new product at Rs 7,990 with three-months of subscription. For existing customers, the company is offering an upgrade option from SD to HD DVR at a price of Rs 5,990, he said.

The company is rolling out its new product HD DVR set-top box across top 100 cities in India covering 6500 towns with a network reach of over 100,000 retail points spending over Rs 100 crore (Rs 1 billion) as part of its launch campaign.

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