After launch of DTH (Direct to Home) TV via satellite few years back, Indian television has come long way from 1 operator to 6 operators. As number of operators increased, the competition increased resulting need to operators to provide something new. BIG TV came with bunch of PPV movie channel catering various genre of movies. Airtel’s DIGITAL TV provided ‘Worldspace’ Radio.
Now SUN DIRECT, the DTH service from SUN Group (India) and Astro Group (Malaysia) have launched HD service. Initially it will have 2 movie channels in Tamil & Telgu, while Hindi movie channel would be added soon. It is also expecting HD content from FOX, Warner Bros who have recently began their services in India. Then Common wealth games 2010 in HD would also made available.
Targeted initially at a niche set of TV viewers, Sun Direct’s HD services will begin with two channels–one each for Tamil movies and Telugu movies–at a cost of Rs 10,000 per subscription, before the company’s plans of eight channels are put in place.
It has entered into an arrangement with Korean chaebol Samsung to supply the set-top-boxes required for the HD services.
While various international channels and content providers have queued up to obtain permission for HD broadcast in India, it is the Commonwealth Games 2010 that will flag off the HDTV wave in the country, as the mega event is set to be telecast on the HDTV platform, Sun Direct officials said.
Stating that HDTV was a growing market D’Silva said, “In this coming year at least 20% of the 1.5 million LCDs sold will be of the HD format. We look to capture approximately 20% of this market in 2009-10… So we have a target of around 60,000-70,000 subscribers for the first year.”
Having lined up global channels like Fox International and Warner Brothers to be telecast on its service, Sun Direct looks to capture 40-45% of the DTH market this fiscal, up from its present 30% share. Towards this end the company has earmarked Rs 150 crore as marketing budget.