Asianet goes pay, sets trend for Malayalam channels

MUMBAI: Star India has taken its flagship Malayalam channels pay, in continuation of its strategy to ramp up subscription revenues from its regional channels.

Star Jupiter Entertainment Television Limited, the joint venture company in which Star India holds majority stake, has priced the general entertainment channel Asianet at Rs 13.50 and the youth entertainment channel Asianet Plus at Rs 7.50 per month.
The combined price of the two channels is Rs 15. "We have gone pay in the Malayalam market. The price is Rs 15 for the two channels. This is applicable to DTH as well," Star India president - South Jagdish Kumar tells

The move is a significant step as this will open up pay-TV revenues in a market that has solely depended on advertising income. Even Sun TV Network‘s Malayalam channel Surya TV is free-to-air as it battles fiercely with market leader Asianet for taking the top position. 
The southern market is interestingly poised this year as Sun TV increased its advertising rates across the network channels after a gap of two years.

"The ad and subscription revenues are opening up for southern language broadcasters. It will be interesting to find out how fast the revenue growth is in this region," says a media observer.

Late last year, Star took its Bengali regional channels pay. Star Jalsha, the Bengali general entertainment channel, was priced at Rs 12 while Star Ananda, the joint venture Bengali news channel from ABP Group and Star India, was made available at Rs 6. The bundled package is Rs 12.

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