Pay channels offer 'early bird' discounts

NEW DELHI: After the government 's summer offer in the form of slashed duties on import of set top boxes, it's the turn of the broadcasters to extend the summer discount to lure subscribers in a post CAS regime.

"We are looking at various schemes, including invitation price, for customers of boxes. Those who buy or place the order for the boxes now, will get discounts in the rates of pay channels," a senior executive of a multinational broadcasting company operating in India said today after a meeting of the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) where CAS, amongst a host of other issues, was discussed.

Faced with the CAS inevitability, the broadcasters are now looking at ways that will create a demand for set top boxes even before the D-day of 14 July draws near. And "early bird" schemes and "invitation price" are just two of the alternatives being studied.

"The government has not disallowed discounting and we are exploring ways to offer packages to consumers," another representative of a broadcast firm said.

This invitation or early bird scheme cannot last for long and the broadcasters would like to extend such schemes for a limited period of time, something that may have to have the Indian government's approval.

The government had clarified some days back that pay channel managers cannot arbitrarily hike the price and once the prices are revised, they may have to hold it for some months --- between six and 12 months --- before the next revision could be effected.

"We'll have to see how long we can extend the invitation price scheme as we may have to inform the government of this," another broadcaster said, adding that these discounting schemes have to be worked out in association with the MSOs as their and cable operators' distribution margins have to be factored in while offering discounts.

Many have not yet worked out distribution margins, though Zee has announced that cable ops who become partners for the HITS project stand to get margins up to 40 per cent.

However, attempts made by to elicit a response from the government on the period for which discounts can be offered by broadcasters to consumers proved futile. The I&B minister had a busy schedule and could not meet the media today.

Still, a senior executive with a company that has interest in broadcasting as well as cable distribution retorted, "Why should I discuss the various schemes to be offered to consumers in the IBF? Such things have to be discussed in my company's board meetings." This was an indication that despite assertions of co-operation in the industry, not everybody is game to reveal all the aces.

The various discounting schemes are being mulled by broadcasters with an aim to see that consumers in the four metros snap up maximum number of boxes where CAS is being sought to be implemented from 14 July.

Speaking on the sidelines of a Cartoon Network press conference, held at the same venue as the IBF meeting, Turner International India country head Anshuman Misra admitted that broadcasters visualise a "drop in viewership and revenue" in the short term, which can get neutralised if "over the next six months (by January 2004 end) about 50 per cent of the (approximately 6.4 million) C&S homes are STB-equipped."

"I think over a six-month period if even 50 per cent of the C&S households in the metros go in for the boxes, it'd be a comfortable figure," Misra added.

Today's IBF meet was attended, amongst others, by Star India COO Sameer Nair, SET India CEO Kunal Dasgupta, TV Today Network CEO G Krishnan, Zee Telefilms additional vice-chairman Jawahar Goel, Sri Adhikari Brothers vice-chairman and managing director Markand Adhikari , Television Eighteen Ltd. CEO Haresh Chawla, Doordarshan director-general SY Quraishi, and Turner India's Misra


The IBF also discussed other issues like a replacement for Bhuvan Lall whose three-year contract as executive director was not extended recently.

According to IBF sources some candidates are under consideration, including a former information and broadcasting ministry secretary. Incidentally, the first ED of the IBF was former I&B ministry secretary Bhaskar Ghose who left only after six months of stint.

The issue of outstanding from advertising agencies was also discussed.

The sources said that though the outstanding have come down drastically to about Rs. 890 million, realization is still a problem. Out of this Rs 890 million, a big part is owed to Star India, considered the highest grosser of revenues amongst broadcasters in India.

The IBF has also decided that NDTV would be admitted as a member of the organization after Prannoy Roy's company turned a broadcaster by launching two news channels earlier this year.

Latest Reads
CNN explores India’s worst water crisis reported in history

CNN correspondents Helen Regan and Omar Khan report on India’s horrific water crisis which has been making the country’ poorest go through a testing time.

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
SPN India brings marquee 2019 FIFA events to Indian football fans

Sony Pictures Networks India Pvt Ltd (SPN) has acquired the exclusive broadcast rights for marquee FIFA events in 2019 including the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019.

Television TV Channels Sports
COLORS INFINITY celebrates ‘A Decade of Dreams’ with season 10 of Shark Tank

Reinvigorating the spirit of entrepreneurship, the critically acclaimed and multi-Emmy® Award-winning reality show returns on Indian television with its latest season.

Television TV Channels English Entertainment
ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: Star Sports to telecast all warm-up games starting Friday, May 24th, 2019

The ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 is upon us and with world’s 10 best cricketing countries warming up to battle it out to be crowned as Cricket’s champions, Star Sports - India’s leading sports broadcaster and Home of Cricket, has announced the telecast of all the warm-up games leading up to the mega...

Television TV Channels Sports
iTV Network-CVoter Exit Poll predicts clear majority for NDA with 287 seats

iTV Network, India’s fastest growing news and infotainment network in association with the CVoter today broadcast the Exit Poll results of the iTV Network-CVoter survey which gave a clear indication of the electoral trends across the country.

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
Viacom18’s Nikhil Sane on Colors Marathi content play, TRAI tariff order & Marathi GEC market

These are exciting times at Colors Marathi. The spirited team at Viacom18’s family entertainment channel is set to unveil season two of its marquee show Bigg Boss. Following the success of the debut edition, Viacom18 Marathi Entertainment Business Head Nikhil Sane is confident of raising the bar in...

Television TV Channels Regional
Star ReImagine Awards 2019: Netflix wins 'best creative digital', Bisleri bags 'best creative TV'

After a successful first edition, the Star Re-Imagine Awards returned this year in a bigger and better avatar with Bisleri (Best Creative TV) and Netflix (Best Creative Digital) bagging top honours. Showcasing excellence in creativity (Best Creative on TV and Best Creative on Digital), these...

Television TV Channels GECs
BARC week 19: HUL, Lizol maintain top positions in advertiser & brand categories

The Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India has released its data for top advertisers and brands for the period between 04 May 2019 and 10 May 2019.

Television TV Channels Viewership
News18 India brings 100 hours of General Elections coverage; non-stop programming from May 19th till 23rd

As the last phase of the fiercely contested Lok Sabha elections draws to a close, News18 India will bring to you, “100 Ghante ki Maha Coverage”. The non-stop reportage will start from 19th May and will run until the Counting Day on 23rd May, when the results will be declared.

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories