DTH operators gear up to woo new customers during IPL

MUMBAI: Will Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) continue its winning streak from last year or will there be another team that will be crowned as this year’s champions in the Indian Premier League (IPL). While a billion people mull over what the final outcome of the cricket tourney will be, Indian direct to home (DTH) operators are not far behind from milking the multibillion dollar sports property.


When quizzed about how the IPL was aiding operators in getting subscriptions, Tata Sky CEO Harit Nagpal says, “Any activity or event like the IPL generates viewer interest. This viewer interest is important and critical in adding subscriptions. But our pricing and such events are independent of each other. People are likely to follow the event and therefore make a purchase.”


Agreeing with him, Sun Direct CEO Mahesh Kumar reasons, “IPL is a fantastic form of cricket that is full of entertainment. Given that we are at the forefront in providing entertainment, the IPL fits in well.”


Kumar is of the opinion that customers coming back from the exam season will definitely be keen to latch on to new connections from Sun Direct as they are providing IPL on Sony Six free to new customers as an incentive. The operator will also provide the IPL add-on free for customers, who recharge beyond six months.


“We see the IPL as a good tool to win back customers and improve our recharges substantially. We also have an add-on for Rs 44, which allows customers to watch the T20 matches for the entire duration of the tournament, apart from the a la carte of Sony Six and Set Max,” he adds.


Dish TV came on board as the official partner for Shah Rukh Khan’s KKR for a fourth time now. The association is a good brand fix as Khan is also the brand ambassador for the DTH operator. The logo of Dish TV will be prominently featured on the non-lead arm of KKR players’ jersey.


“SRK believes in enthralling his audience with quality and consistent entertainment, which is the same philosophy that we at Dish TV believe in. Kolkata has always been a very important market for us and over the years we have been working with the eastern region for trade and consumer engagement activities,” opines Dish TV COO Salil Kapoor.


Kapoor is hopeful that the IPL will bring in added subscriptions. According to him, with cricket fans across the globe, TV sales are likely to see a jump, which in turn will generate a demand for HD channels. “Shah Rukh’s connect and the fact that Dish TV has a strong bouquet of 41 HD channels will help in increasing brand equity, which in turn will result in good sales for us during this IPL,” Kapoor adds.


When asked about the company’s plans during the IPL, Kapoor informs that the ethos behind their brand - i.e. fuelling the passion for entertainment - is to ensure that it goes beyond sports. “This special package is customized to suit the needs of every member of the family. Keeping this in mind, we have introduced the Cricket + package. Our HD channels’ offering is the highest in the industry at present,” he says.


Videocon d2h too has continued its association as the principal sponsor for the Mumbai Indians franchise for the third continuous season of the IPL. The logo of Videocon d2h will feature on the front of the jersey of Mumbai Indians players. Speaking about the same, Videocon d2h CEO Anil Khera says, “We are hopeful of garnering greater visibility for our brand and are looking forward to another eventful year through this partnership.”


Airtel Digital TV has launched various schemes for its customers during this IPL. A company spokesperson informs that for all customers buying Samsung Curve and UHD TV, Airtel Digital TV will offer HD DVR connection at the same cost as that of an HD connection.


“All customers will get discount coupons worth Rs 2650. Customer can enjoy watching the matches on an HD DVR by paying Rs 2350. This box has inbuilt hard disk of 500 GB and customer can enjoy record content up to 750 hours enabling customer to record and watch the matches at a time convenient. Additionally, customers will get free subscription for up to 12 months through a scratch card offer,” informs the spokesperson.


Besides on all other Samsung models, Airtel Digital TV will offer a discount coupon of Rs 660 on its HD+ variant. Additionally customers will get a 8 GB pen drive worth Rs 399 free enabling them to record. Activation charges on Samsung smart direct TVs will be waved off completely.

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