MSOs swing into action, unveil channel packages

MUMBAI: Decks have been cleared for implementing digitisation in the four metros within the deadline period of 31 October as the four national multi-system operators (MSOs) have announced the much awaited channel packages to sell to their cable TV subscribers.

Hathway Cable & Datacom, Den Networks, Digicable, and Zeel-owned Siti Cable (earlier WWIL) have announced the channel packages and their rates to the consumers who will need to transition to an era away from analogue cable where they were served a fixed bouquet of channels and had to pay one rate. The new prices are exclusive of taxes.

Hathway has three packages with Basic package having 135 channels for Rs 160, Medium package offering 198 channels for Rs 220 and Premium package with 242 channels for Rs 275.

Den is offering 112 channels for Rs 180 in its Pack 1 package, 219 channels for Rs 225 for its Pack 2 offering and 235 channels for Rs 270 for its Pack 3 offering.

Digicable also has three packages - Basic, Gold and Premium - the Basic package will offer 145 channels at Rs 180, while Gold package will provide 151 channels at Rs 200. The Premium package targeted at high-end consumers will have 165 channels at a cost of Rs 250.

Apart from channel packages, Digicable also announced the Basic Service Tier (BST) consisting of at least 100 channels for Rs 100 comprising the Free-to-Air channels. As part of its offering, the MSO is offering 117 channels.

Name of the PackageNo. of ChannelsRate in Rs. ( exclusive of taxes)
Hathway Cable and Datacom Ltd.
Pack 1112180
Pack 2219225
Pack 3235270
Popular 1( Kolkata)151150
Popular 2( Mumbai)153150
Popular 3( Delhi)142150

WWIL is the only MSO to have four packages which includes three city specific packages. The Janta package available for WWIL consumers in all three cities has 118 channels for Rs 100, the Popular 1 (Kolkata) package with 151 channels, Popular 2 (Mumbai) package with 153 channels, and Popular 3 (Delhi) package with 142 being offered for a flat rate of Rs 150.

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting said that consumers will also be given the option of choosing channels from a la carte list. It also revealed that the digitisation percentage in four metro cities has gone up to 73 per cent from 68 per cent.

As per the data provided by MIB, 1.47 million set-top boxes(STBs) have already been installed in Delhi as against the target of 2.47 million with a digitisation rate of 60 per cent. The digitisation progress is 70 per cent if 877,000 lakh DTH subscribers are also taken into consideration.

Delhi has shown good pace of installation of STBs in the last one month and currently about 15000 STBs are being installed per day in the city, the MIB claimed.

The Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Amendment Act 2011 has made it mandatory for switch over of the existing analogue cable TV Network to Digital Addressable System (DAS) by December 2014 in the entire country in four phases.

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