Top DTH operators in the country have converted four pay TV channels to the Free to Air (FTA) channels, as per the directions given by Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) recently. For the unaware, the MIB and IBF recently announced that four pay-TV channels Colors Rishtey, Zee Anmol, Sony Pal and Star Utsav would be available for free to the customers for the next two months. As part of the same announcement, DTH service providers Tata Sky, Airtel Digital TV and Sun Direct have changed four pay TV channels to FTA pack. Although the four pay TV channels aren't priced on the higher side, it is still good to see the government taking the necessary actions to keep subscribers entertained during the lockdown period in India.
Tata Sky, Airtel Digital TV and Sun Direct Make 4 Pay TV Channels Free
Tata Sky always stands first on the list when it comes to implementing new changes on the platform. And it will be soon followed by Airtel Digital TV. However, this time around, it was Sun Direct which first converted the four pay TV channels to Free to Air, followed by the other DTH operators. Sadly, Dish TV and D2h are yet to implement the changes, but it might happen by the end of this week.
The four pay TV channels will be available for free from April 1 to May 31, the IBF has announced recently. As for the prices of the four pay TV channels, Sony Pal, Star Utsav and Colors Rishtey cost Re 1 per month, while Zee Anmol is priced at just Rs 0.10. So clearly, these aren't the premium channels from the respective broadcasters, but the IBF or Indian Broadcasting Foundation decided to make them available for free during the lockdown period.
The government has imposed a 21-day lockdown period in India to fight Coronavirus, but the period is going to extend further considering the growing cases in India.
TV Viewership Likely to See a Massive Rise
The lockdown period is set to hit hard at several industries, but it might turn out to be a good one for broadcasting and broadband sectors. While broadband operators in the country are witnessing an increase in subscriber base, DTH and Cable TV operators are said to witness a massive rise in viewership. After the introduction of Trai's tariff regime in 2019, a lot of TV subscribers have cancelled their subscription or stopped renewing their monthly subscription due to increased prices.
The Trai NTO 2.0 has made some changes which is said to make the TV connections affordable by 14% from Trai's NTO 1.0. During the lockdown period, citizens are heavily relying on their DTH/Cable TV connection to watch the content. Although there are OTT apps with Live TV channels on offer, the convenient way is to use DTH or Cable TV connection.