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Sharkstream's Tamil, Hindi broadband content now subscription driven

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Sharkstream.com, UTV Interactive's wholly owned subsidiary which offers broadband content for users in Singapore, has become a subscription service.

The service, priced at S$ 4.99 per month, features streaming programming in entertainment, drama, comedy and current affairs genres in Hindi and Tamil. Sharkstream also offers services in English, Malay and Mandarin which will remain free for the next two months, says Biren Ghose, CEO, UTV Interactive. Sharkstream was being launched with subscription driven services in only two languages so as to better understand the dynamics of high quality video acceptance over broadband in the East Asia region. After this the other language channels will also become subscription driven. Sharkstream was now the first paid broadband network in Asia, Ghose said.

The total broadband market in Singapore was roughly 200,000-strong Ghose said, and Sharkstream had a subscriber base of 45,000 to 50,000 (registered users using of the free service) making it the most-used broadband network. Ghose said he was expecting at least 5,000 to 10,000 subscribers to sign on in the beginning. They will be offered a menu card of five to seven content packages under different price heads, he added. The standard package is S$ 4.99 per month, S$11.99 for three months and S$23.99 annually.

Explaining why Singapore was an ideal location to offer broadband content, Ghose said in Asia, only South Korea was ahead in terms of being broadband-enabled.

Queried as to the minimum subscriber base required to cover operational costs, Ghose put the figure at 5,000. He pointed out that with this model having come into place, UTV Interactive could also offer its expertise to enable large content providers to set up their own platforms.

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