- BTVI, an English news channel went FTA in January for the same reason
- Other channels like Travelxp and Food Food are also looking at ways for more reach
The new broadcasting tariff regime which is slowly spreading across the country through the migration process of the subscribers substantially changes the pricing and other regulatory parameters for the DTH providers and broadcasters. The big broadcasters have already hinted towards a high-stake game with the rollout of the new tariff regime, however, for standalone channels the stakes are even higher. These niche channel owners with their content targeted towards a particular niche will be even more affected by the new tariff regime. There is also a noticeable difference in what the two types of broadcasters are looking for in the new tariff regime. While the big established broadcasters are seeking ways to amass more and more revenue, the niche broadcasters are much more focused on bringing more attention and channel reach.
BTVI’s Switch to FTA for More Reach
An example of such a niche channel would be BTVI which is the one of its kind FTA channel in the category. It is well known that the genre of English News is mostly full of pay channels, however, in January, BTVI went FTA and the reason, as you would suspect, is to garner more reach. Also, the development in the rollout of the new tariff regime has already hinted that consumers are moving ahead with the DPO recommended packs and as such the inclusion of BTVI in recommended packs of 100 FTA channels would automatically mean more reach for the channel. BTVI COO, Megha Tata also revealed that the OTT platforms like Hotstar, SonyLIV, Zee5 have been good delivery platforms apart from cable TV and DTH providers for the channel. This news is reported by Television Post.
Travelxp Bets on Content
Another example of a standalone channel which will face a change in reach is of Travelxp and Travelxp Tamil which is operated by Celebrities Management Pvt Limited. Travelxp CEO Prashant Chothani said that the channel is preparing for the new tariff regime by investing more into the content of its channel and is also looking at avenues to expand its reach into multiple languages like Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi and Telugu. The channel is currently deciding whether these languages will be feeds or channels. He also said that Travelxp is being included in a lot of DPO packs as of now which stands to show the strength of the content. He also agreed on the fact that when making a choice, consumers are favouring DPO packs rather than broadcaster packs and thus the challenge is to be included in as many DPO packs as possible.
Inclusion in DPO Packs Appropriate Way for Niche Channels
Similar is the case with the Celebrity Chef Sanjiv Kapoor owned channel, Food Food which is available for Rs 0.3. He said that targeted content on a niche audience is what works for a channel of his kind. With these many examples on the platter, it is quite apparent that while the prominent broadcaster will focus more on bringing in revenue, the hard climb for the niche channels will be to garner as much reach as possible and to go about that, most niche channels seem to be focusing on DPO packs.
Arpit spends his day closely following the telecom and tech industry. A music connoisseur and a night owl, he also takes a deep interest in the Indian technology start-up scene and spends rest of his time spilling poetry and stories on paper.