It's GalaxZee for Zee's HITS project

NEW DELHI: After Trendz, it's GalaxZee that is soon

coming to a television set near you. Trust Zee to come

up with a catchy brand name for its headend in the sky

(HITS) project that would also serve as a back office

company for the venture.

Having decided on the brand name for the HITS project, to be implemented by the company's cable arm Siti Cable, the Subhash Chandra-promoted Zee Telefilms has started wooing prospective franchisees and partners for HITS and has begun distributing a colourful brochure amongst cable operators in cities like Delhi and Kolkata.

The brochure also tantalisingly says that HITS is an opportunity for cable ops to earn up to 40 percent in distribution margins.

Under the HITS concept for conditional access, Zee is proposing to offer dealers (cable ops) up to 40 per cent of the distribution margin, the distributor getting 10 per cent, the company managing the subscriber management system (in Zee's case it is Cyquator, according to company sources) for CAS cornering 10 per cent, the CAS software provider (Zee has tied up with Conax for CAS software) getting 10 per cent, while Galaxzee would keep 30 per cent of the pie.

However, it has been made clear that the margins for the dealers "may vary in accordance to the distribution margins provided by the broadcasters." In the government-piloted task force on CAS, Siti Cable representatives have opined several times that multi system operators (MSOs) like it would prefer getting between 60-70 per cent of the distribution margin from broadcasters.

According to the GalaxZee brochure, interested dealers for HITS would have to apply through a form, filling in various financial and business details, which would have to be accompanied with a cheque/demand draft of Rs 10,000 in favour of Siti Cable towards refundable security. This has been done to weed out non-serious players as the whole of Zee Telefilms, which is part of the Essel Group, has pinned lots of hope on HITS as something that would usher in a new era in cable television in India.

GalaxZee has been touted as a cost-effective and transparent solution. It has also been explained to cable ops, via text and diagrams, the way the whole system would work.

Amongst the benefits accruing to cable ops it has been said that operators need not install CAS/SMS at the head-end level and they need to invest in trans modulators (costing Rs 1,200 per channel), which would significantly reduce investments for the cable ops.

What is HITS ? In short, it is an end to end digital system involving downloading of television channels (that are interested in being part of HITS) at a single location. These channels are then encrypted with a single CAS and uplinked to a satellite (in this case it's likely to be an INSAT satellite).

Signals from the satellite are received by cable ops who have to use a trans-modulator to redistribute the same (may be after mixing the signals of the FTA channels) to their subscribers who, with the help of a digital set-top box, can receive the channels that they wish to subscribe to. All the boxes can be addressed from a single CAS/SMS.

Also read:

Siti pushing HITS plan for CAS; Swaraj calls meeting with cable ops next week

Canal+ backs HITS model for CAS rollout

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