Asianet to go fully digital in a year

MUMBAI: Asianet Satellite Communications Ltd, promoted by Rajan Raheja who also controls Hathway Cable & Datacom, has taken the radical decision of switching off its analogue cable TV service within a year and plans to make a fresh investment of Rs 1 billion as it pushes to become India‘s first multi-system operator (MSO) to offer only digital cable.

For starters, the Kerala-based MSO has just completed converting Trivandrum into a full digital network. Asianet is offering its Trivandrum subscribers five bouquet options up to 150 channels and plans to upgrade this to 220 channels within three months.

"We have become the first cable TV service provider in India to achieve this milestone, well ahead of the national government‘s full digitisation mandate by December 2014. We have 75,000 direct subscribers in Trivandrum and our target is to completely digitise our network in Kerala within nine months," said Asianet Satellite Communications president and COO Sankaranarayana.

Asianet has already invested Rs 1 billion towards digitisation and seeded 350,000 set-top boxes. The net-breakeven regional MSO has 615,000 direct subscribers.

"We will be investing Rs 1 billion within a year. We will require Rs 750 million to digitise our direct subscribers. We are also looking at doing some amount of digitisation for secondary subscribers," said Sankaranaryana.

Asianet offers the digital set-top boxes free. "We are subsidising the STBs. We believe our pay channel content cost will come down. The ARPU (average revenue per user) for digital is Rs 200 while in case of analogue is Rs 150," averred Sankaranaryana.

Asianet, which was in talks with US private equity giant Providence for diluting a minority stake in 2007, is not looking at offloading any equity now. "We are not in talks with any private equity firm. We have decided to digitise our network on our own. We have access to vendor financing and debt. We have a healthy Ebitda because we own the last mile," said Sankaranaryana.

Kerala‘s dominant MSO has a technical tie up with Cisco for digitisation. "Digitisation will also help us in further improving our broadband services," said Sankaranaryana.

Latest Reads
HAL Robotics ropes in Navanit Samaiyar as board member and advisor

MUMBAI: HAL Robotics has roped in Navanit Samaiyar as its board member and advisor. Samaiyar has a record of setting up, scaling and transforming businesses across a very wide cross section of industries spanning from IT/ ITeS to steel, telecom, engineering goods, earthmoving machinery, logistics...

Technology Hardware Components
Republic TV launches Android app

MUMBAI: Republic TV is on a roll. From rocking the ratings chart in launch week itself to going international, the channel has added one more accomplishment to its kitty. The Republic TV Android app is now live.

Technology Software Applications
STB cos in India, China enhancing features, providing customised solutions, Technavio enlists top vendors

MUMBAI: The global STB market is characterised by intense competition as the market is saturated in developed countries. The market share of these players is declining because of the entry of new players. The STB companies are enhancing the features of STBs and providing customised solutions to...

Technology Hardware Set-top Boxes
India's PFT Clear Media ERP suite to help US' PBS content delivery

MUMBAI: Prime Focus Technologies (PFT), the technology arm of Prime Focus, announced that its CLEAR™ Media ERP Suite has been selected by Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) to enhance their Network Operations Center (NOC) ecosystem efficiencies and sustainability, with the objective of reducing...

Technology Software Applications
Broadcasters, OTTs to gain as Via adds xHE-AAC at special rate

MUMBAI: Via Licensing Corporation, a intellectual property solutions provider, has announced the upcoming availability of Extended High Efficiency AAC (xHE-AAC) as part of the Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) patent pool. The expanded patent pool licence will be available at no additional cost to...

Technology Software Applications
Tata Comm to deliver Motorsport videos on global devices

MUMBAI: Tata Communications will now deliver video content for viewers' all devices over its global network. The two have partnered to power the growth of the network’s internet television platforms.

Technology Software Applications
How to create live video content sans pros, convert radio broadcast into visual show

MUMBAI: ChyronHego will be showcasing its live production, automation solutions at Broadcast India show in Mumbai in mid-October.

Technology Software Applications
Sony renews IP licence deal with TiVo

MUMBAI: TiVo Corporation, a leader in entertainment technology and audience insights, has announced that Sony Corporation, a leader in consumer electronics, has renewed its multi-year intellectual property (IP) licence agreement. The license to TiVo’s patent portfolios covers all of Sony’s...

Technology Software Applications
Digital TV, growing telecom major drivers of coaxial cable growth in A-Pac: Study

MUMBAI: The global coaxial cables market is mature owing to the use of coaxial cables in industries for a long time and the slow or stagnant product innovation.

Technology Hardware Components

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories