Big TV eyes Rs 1 bn revenue from Vas in 5 years

MUMBAI: Reliance Communications‘ direct-to-home (DTH) brand Big TV is expecting to clock a revenue of Rs 1 billion from value added services (Vas) over the next five years.

"Right now Vas contributes five per cent of our revenues. We expect this to cross to 10 per cent over the coming months. In five years, Vas revenues will touch Rs 1 billion," Big TV CEO Sanjay Behl said.

Big TV is especially bullish on gaming, and has announced a tie up with Indiagames, a subsidiary of UTV Software Communications, for gaming services.

"Gaming will contribute to 10 per cent of our Vas revenues. We expect a little over 2.5 million subscribers by the end of the fiscal. This deal with Indiagames will add a new dimension to the relevance of gaming," Behl added.

As part of the agreement, Indiagames will leverage its partnership with US-based Oberon Media to provide games for Big TV. The service will offer eight games which will be refreshed regularly. This will be free to subscribers until 26 January. Thereafter users can avail the service by paying Rs 30 per month.

The DTH gaming service will be branded as iGames and will include I-play, Galapago, Solitaire (with four different versions including Classic, FreeCell, Pyramid and Towers), Moodies, Space Moodies, Air Hockey, and Darts. Indiagames will also focus on local content like its portfolio of Twenty20 cricket games and games based on films like Chance Pe Dance.
Indiagames COO Samir Bangara said, "This initiative, and the DTH partnership with Oberon Media, marks our foray to the third screen of gaming making us the first Indian triple play games company with a strong presence across- mobile, PC and now DTH. The games on Big TV have been chosen keeping the family in mind. We have a revenue-sharing arrangement with them."

Indiagames is looking at doing similar deals for IPTV and digital cable.

The company will be coming out with a game based on the show, Emotional Athyachar. It will also be releasing a game based on the film Run.

Big TV‘s other Vas offerings include free-of-cost interactive features like iCooking, iAstro, iStock, iCricket and iNews.

"When we launched we started our offerings with a strong movie package. We offer 236 channels, out of which 30 are devoted to movies. Gaming is the next major logical step. Going forward we will be strengthening our VoD content and are in talks with Hollywood and European studios not just for films but also for television content," said Behl.

Big TV is also planning to introduce a series of Vas offerings, which will offer monetising opportunities to drive the financial growth of the company. As part of this outlook, the company is building three specific streams of revenues in the direction of PPV (pay-per-view), interactivity and advertising. 
As part of its drive to enhance the monetizing opportunity of its PPV offerings, Big TV is focussing on building its regional PPV repertoire. The company is in talks with various regional film producers and production houses for the DTH rights of regional language films. This regional PPV repertoire will help Big TV cater to the regional viewing needs of its customers across various languages in India.

The interactivity revenue drive will be done by offering unique and benchmark interactive services offering great value proposition to its subscribers. As part of this focus, Big TV will launch a series of interactive services over the next few months including iJobs, iHolidays, iMatrimony, iEstate, iJuniors, iEducation, and iHealth.

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