Television

Sony strikes deal with Echostar for US return next month

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After being off for close to a month in the US, Hindi entertainment channel Sony Entertainment Television is looking at making a comeback by next month. The channel inked an agreement with Echostar on 22 May in the US under which the DBS service will distribute it to Dish Network subscribers. Dish has close to 6 million subs in the US. 



Echostar has made a minimum guarantee (MG) commitment to Sony team to bring it on to its platform. If subscribers cross a particular level, says SET COO Rajesh Pant, "we will get the MG plus a percentage of the subscriber fee. Now if these two put together cross a certain threshhold, we will get a higher percentage of the subscription fee."



The SET management is working out a plan to enable earlier subscribers on the EABC platform on DirectTV to migrate to the Echostar service. They have already invested in dishes and boxes for Direct TV. "We will give them incentives to migrate like free dishes and boxes or price-offs on both," says Pant.



SET, along with an EABC-produced channel Network Asia had close to 7,000 subscribers before it went off the air. Pant says packages are being worked out with $14.99 for a single channel; $24.99 for two channels. The other channels on the ethnic Dish platform are: B4U, Zee TV, Zee Gold, TV Asia.



Pant points out that SET is set to expand the US team so that it can push better in the US market. "We are looking at distribution and marketing and advertising professionals," he says. But the service will first have to get going and pacify Indian denizens who have been quite irritated by its untimely shutoff from the DirectTV platform.

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