Sunday, September 20, 2009

DTH players eye festive season to grow subs with special offers

Locked in intense fight for subscriber growth, the DTH operators have come out with special discount offers and packs for the festive season. And why not? Last Diwali season saw the addition of a million direct-to-home (DTH) subscribers. Airtel Digital TV, the last DTH entrant and the first to come out with festive offers, has tweaked its value and economy packs for south and non south regions, while the cost correction has been made for their ultra pack. The DTH operator has also launched offers for traders to get a big lift in subscribers this season.

"We launched in October last year and missed the festive season. This year we are making efforts to grab the lead share," says Airtel Digital TV marketing head Sugato Banerji. Market leader Dish TV is offering all channels at the price of 'Silver pack'. It will also give cash back of Rs 1,000 to every tenth customer. Says Dish TV COO Salil Kapoor, "Our promotional offers over the last few months have been much appreciated which can be seen in our growing subscriber base. Our customers enjoy a bouquet of 185 channels at Rs 125 and to make this festive occasion more colorful and bright every 10th customer is assured Rs 1000 as cash back."

Dish TV is also offering three months Platinum/South Platinum pack, Colors, UTV Pack and set-top box for Rs 1,990. The other offers are three months Gold/South Gold, Colors, UTV Pack and STB at Rs 1950 and three months Silver/South Silver, UTV Pack and STB at Rs 1890. Dish TV will charge Rs 200 extra for installation. The offer is not valid in Uttar Pradesh (because of high entertainment tax) and Kerala.

Sun Direct, the fastest growing DTH operator in terms of subscribers, has announced free subscription packs for a limited period in various schemes. Says Sun Direct COO Tony D' Silva, "Diwali being one of the most important festivals in India, Sun Direct is delighted to offer enhanced TV viewing quality to its customers." For the 'Non South Package' (Hindi basic/ Oriya basic / Bengali basic and J&K basic pack), the new subscribers can get six months subscription in price of four months (Rs 525). The 10-month subscription is coming for a price of seven months (Rs 925). Among the 'South Packs' (Tamil basic / Malayalam basic / Kannada basic / Telugu basic), subscribers for a four-month scheme of Rs 440 are given two more months without any charge. On a nine-month subscription pack of Rs 990, three months extra subscription is being offered free.

Sun Direct offers eight basic packs and 41 add on packages ranging from Rs six to Rs 300. The basic packages have over 130 channels. With lowest Arpu (Avrage revenue per user) of Rs 83, Sun Direct charges an installation fee of Rs 1,250 from customers.


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