It’s almost the beginning of July 2006. The Direct to Home (DTH) scene in India is getting ready for the mother-of-all battles. The Subhash Chandra owned Dish TV is going to have a competitor in the Rupert Murdoch backed TATASKY DTH platform soon. Though TATA owns seventy odd percent in the venture we all know where the technical expertise is going to come from.
Newscorp via STAR TV will no doubt be building a strong product for Indian households. Let us not forget that they own and operate BSKYB in the United Kingdom where they are almost considered untouchable in both quality of service and reach. DISH TV too is not sitting still. Only a few months from their launch, they started offering services like Movie On Demand and of course the more recent announcement of the inclusion of extra channels including SONY on their DTH platform.
STAR having stayed off the DISH TV platform with only STAR UTSAV making a token appearance, have made their intentions clear. This year promises to be an all out exciting one for television viewers in the country. Both the players are known to be aggressive. They are not going to pull any punches and surely aren’t taking any prisoners. When BSKYB launched to a lukewarm reception in the UK, SKY started giving the set top boxes free, they also bought all the exclusive football rights for an astronomical amount to bring in the viewers. Free set top boxes plus the only place to watch their football the Brits bought into BSKYB big time making it a thundering success. ZEE on the other hand back home is constantly updating their services portfolio. The latest addition to their list is Mobile DISH TV. Yes, that’s right you will be able to watch all their channels on the move in a car or a bus. They have a year’s head start over TATASKY and are looking to consolidate their lead.
TATASKY on the other hand has deep pockets and a vast library of content to dish out on their platform. It’s too early to tell who will win this fight but signals are out there that the fight will be long and fought hard. Especially now since SONY has joined DISH TV the lines are drawn. Like I mentioned some time back, people do want all the goodies that a DTH service brings but how many will want two different boxes at home is the question? Maybe it will lead to the mother-of-all mergers…the TATASKYDISH TV Network!