Television

Post-HBO exit, Sony to cut bouquet rate by Rs 5.60

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MUMBAI: Sony-Discovery bouquet will reduce the monthly subscription rate of its existing bouquet by Rs 5.60 to Rs 49.40 a month per subscriber in the New Year, following the exit of premier movie channel HBO to the rival Zee-Turner bouquet.

The revised rate will come into effect from 1 January, 2005. "We had agreed with HBO on an effective price of Rs 5.60 for the channel. Since HBO is moving out of our bouquet, we are revising our price structure downwards, as per the Trai (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) regulations," Sony-Discovery president Shantanu Aditya tells indiantelevision.com. The broadcast and cable regulator had recommended that channels launched after 26 December, 2003 could not be bundled with the old bouquet.

Animax and Discovery Travel & Living, the new pay channels, will form part of a separate bouquet and be priced at Rs 10 each. "All the new channels that we launch will form part of this bouquet," says Aditya.

But what English movie channel would replace HBO? "We will unveil the details at the right moment," he says.

Sony will have the tough task of building a strong movie channel as HBO was one of the key driver channels in the bouquet. The effective price of HBO, according to information available with indiantelevision.com, was Rs seven a month per subscriber. HBO will form part of the Zee-Turner bouquet with effect from 1 January, 2005.

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