Television

Sony goes pay Saturday at Rs 12 sticker price

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Tomorrow Sony Entertainment Television joins Star India and Zee TV as a completely pay-driven bouquet with its flagship channel becoming fully encrypted.

The channel will be available at a sticker price of Rs 12 while the whole bouquet of Sony Entertainment, Set Max, AXN and CNBC India will cost Rs 22, Shantonu Aditya, senior vice-president, franchise channels & distribution, says. In the two main metros Delhi and Mumbai the price has been fixed at Rs 12 but the rate is lower in the smaller centres, Aditya revealed.

Aditya said a total of 10,000 set top boxes would be rolled out across the country over the next 15 days. Four thousand set tops had been distributed so far, with another 2,000 expected to be in place by 3 September, Aditya said.

Sony uses the more expensive Scientific Atlanta box that will put back the cable operator by Rs 12,000 initially and with a balance of Rs 8,000 to be paid after six months. Sony is subsidising the box to the tune of Rs 15,000 with the actual cost being Rs 35,000, Aditya said.

Queried as to how cable operators would respond, Aditya said most had signed on to the new dispensation.

While Sony's going pay has been on the cards for some time, how the move will impact on its viewership at a time when it has been losing cachet with audiences will be watched closely.

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