Geo TV eyes UK market; sceptical about India


MUMBAI: Dubai headquartered Geo TV, the flagship channel from the Pakistan-based Jang group of media companies, has now decided to spread it wings and is eyeing the UK market, while firm in the belief that India is not yet ready for it.

As part of the expansion plans, Geo TV is also mulling having an additional channel, Geo TV-Entertainment, in Pakistan. The existing channel, Geo TV, transforms into a news channel there. The Jang group has also applied for a DTH licence in Pakistan.

According to a senior executive of Geo TV present at the Ficci-Frames, the next destination for the infotainment channel is the UK, where negotiations are on with the Rupert Murdoch-controlled BSkyB platform.

Though no time frame was enlisted by Geo TV for the UK debut, it is part of a game plan to have a footprint in markets where there is sizeable South Asian population, especially people of Pakistani origin.

In the US, the infotainment channel, which made its debut there last year on the EchoStar platform, beams into approximately 35,000 homes there targeting primarily South Asian viewers. Future target is to reach 50,000 homes.

Asked about Geo TV's Indian plans, the company executive said that though an entertainment channel is being planned for the South Asian region, where the aim would be to exploit the Indian market more, the present regulatory regime in India would not make it commercially viable.

"A major part of our revenue comes from subscription and in the absence of any firm regulatory mechanism to this effect (read conditional access system), the Indian market looks a bit nebulous to enter into at present," the executive said.

However, Geo TV is available in quite a few Indian cable homes and, at one time, the channel was looking at having distribution tie-ups with cable ops and MSOs here.

Explaining the difficulties in making an Indian foray, the Geo TV executive said that the channel has been on air without advertisements since inception, depending on subscription revenue. "In India, the mechanism for accounting the subscription revenue is still hazy and, hence, we would not like to make an Indian debut so soon," the executive said.

Having an Indian presence would make eminent sense for the channel as several Indian television actors are increasingly being employed by Geo for their soaps and serials. Artistes like Sangeeta Ghosh, Aamna Shariff and Vikas Bhalla have been signed for serials on Geo.

As a stand alone channel in the US, it is priced at $ 15 per subscriber per month, while the target is to price the channel at £ 15 in the UK when it makes an entry there.

For UK the programming would be on the lines of the US feed and the effort will be to have localised content to cater to the South Asian viewers. The channel would also beam dramas, among other entertainment fare.

Geo TV airs programmes partly in Urdu and in English in the USA and has sizeable portion of local content The channel forayed into the Middle-East last year and airs there as a free-to-air channel on the Phela bouquet.

Latest Reads

Tata Sky inks deal with ThinkAnalytics for personalised content recommendations

MUMBAI: Leading DTH brand Tata Sky has selected content recommendation Engine ThinkAnalytics to power its personalised content recommendations across connected devices. The yet-to-be-launched service will be available on Tata Sky’s applications across mobile and PC platforms to begin with.

DTH DTH Operator
Dish TV India Limited achieves ISO 27001 certification

Dish TV India Limited, world’s largest single country DTH Company, has achieved the ISO 27001 Certification, the international standard that sets out and describes requirements and best practices for an Information Security Management System (ISMS). Dish TV India has received ISO 27001...

DTH DTH Operator
Rakesh Jhunjhunwala picks up Dish TV shares worth Rs 93 crore

Indian billionaire investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala-owned Rare Enterprises on Wednesday picked up 1.30 crore shares in the direct to home service provider Dish TV. Following the move, the Dish TV India's share price rallied as much as 3.5 per cent on Thursday morning.

DTH DTH Operator
Impending tariff order implementation pushes Dish TV to sign short-term contracts

MUMBAI: Keeping in mind the recent Madras High Court judgement in regard to tariff order and interconnect regulation, India’s largest direct to home (DTH) brand Dish TV India is now focussin on short-term deals. As the recent judgement brought tariff-order closer to the reality, the DTH brand’s...

DTH DTH Operator
Reliance BIG TV joins hands with 50,000 Indian Post Offices for HD DTH set top boxes

MUMBAI: DTH player, Reliance Big TV, after announcing zero cost entertainment to 130 crores Indians, has partnered with 50,000 Indian Post Offices across Rajasthan, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim for...

DTH DTH Operator
Merged Dish TV reports maiden numbers for fiscal 2018

BENGALURU: The merged entity comprising of two Indian DTH players – Dish TV India Ltd reported its maiden fourth quarter and fiscal numbers for the periods ending 31 March 2018 (Q4 2018, quarter under review, FY 2018 year or fiscal under review). The two entities of the new behemoth Dish TV India...

DTH DTH Services
Dish TV offers SD channels at Rs 8.5 per month

MUMBAI: After an intense merger time with Videocon d2h, Dish TV is back with a new solution for its customers and this time it is offering SD channels at just Rs 8.5 a month. The DTH operator has even launched a 360-degree campaign to make people aware of it. Entitled “Saadhey aath mein jeeto saare...

DTH DTH Operator
How Harit Nagpal plans to keep Tata Sky ahead

MUMBAI: The DTH sector. What once seemed a lucrative arena has now seen companies getting acquired and merging, the competition being intense . Today, India is the largest DTH market in the world by number of subscribers. As on 30 September 2017, there were 66.99 million active pay DTH subscribers...

DTH DTH Operator
Tata Sky, Airtel DTH gain market share in 2017

Tata Sky and Airtel Digital TV (Airtel DTH) have reason to rejoice as they saw market share rise in calendar year 2017 as compared to a year ago. Both saw an increase by one per cent each at the end of December 2017 as compared to at the end of December 2016 according to Telecom Regulatory...

DTH DTH Operator

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories