While the DTH industry has grown competitive in general, and the subscribers are enjoying the benefits of this competitiveness, the festive season brought some more benefits for the customers of the DTH services. There are already pre-existing offers like the long-term plans and some offers which bring channel packs at lower prices for these subscribers. However, another benefit which the subscribers are receiving is not actually from the DTH operators but comes from the broadcasters. It is quite possible that as of reading this, you are already getting to enjoy channels at reduced prices on your DTH or cable TV connection. The offer has also been extended to the cable TV subscribers as well. However, the thing about this offer is that it wasn’t rolled out in one-go, but instead, the DTH operators rolled out this offer one by one.
Introduction of Channel Price Cuts by Broadcasters
Firstly, the offer was introduced by broadcasters in the industry. The broadcasters which introduced the offer included big names in the industry like Zee Entertainment Limited (ZEEL), Star India, Sony Pictures Network India (SPNI) and Viacom18. However, while the broadcasters announced the price cut on their select channels, the offer needed to be passed on to the subscribers for the benefit to be extended to the end-consumer. For this, the broadcasters depended on the DTH operators and the cable TV operators to pass on the benefit. Out of all the DTH operators in the industry, the popular DTH operator, Tata Sky, was the first one to introduce the benefit to the subscribers. The channels which were discounted by the broadcasters were available to the Tata Sky subscribers first with a reduced rate, allowing them to reduce their monthly subscription cost.
Viacom18 First to Announce Price Cut on Channels
Amongst the broadcasters too, Viacom18 was the first one to announce the price cut on these popular channels. The popular GEC channel, Colors, from Viacom18, was one of the notable channels to receive the price cut. The SD version of Colors was available for Rs 19 per month to the subscribers, and after the price cut, the channel was available for Rs 12 per month. The broadcaster also launched the ‘Har Din Diwali’ campaign to increase the uptake of these channels. Slowly, ZEEL was the next broadcaster in line to introduce this price cut. The channels which received the price cut included Zee TV, Zee Marathi, Zee Bangla, Zee Telugu, Zee Kannada and Zee Sarthak. These channels also started retailing for Rs 12 per month instead of Rs 19 per month. Lastly, Star India and Sony Pictures Network India (SPNI) also slashed the prices of popular channels like Star Plus, SET, SET MAX, SAB and more. Not only this, but more channels which were priced lower than Rs 19 also received some kind of price cut.
Cable TV Operators Also Start Offering Reduced Pricing on Channels
Coming back to the DTH operators, after Tata Sky implemented the new the price cut from the broadcasters, the second in line was Sun Direct, South India based DTH company which introduced the price cut for its subscribers. Following on the same footsteps, D2h and then Airtel Digital TV also introduced the price cut on SD channels.
A few days later after DTH operators started getting the benefit of reduced prices on these SD channels, the cable TV operators association AIDCF, also announced that it would pass on the new benefit of reduced channel pricing on to the subscribers. This meant that not only the DTH subscribers but also cable TV subscribers would be able to save on their monthly subscription.