Now, BPCL wants to come direct to home

NEW DELHI: Petroleum major Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) plans to foray into providing direct-to-home (DTH) TV, or content delivery to subscriber's home using satellite, reports Press Trust of India.

India's third largest oil firm plans to use its 1800 LPG distributors, covering about 20 million consumers, for marketing of DTH and is targeting 30 per cent of the over eight million DTH consumers expected by 2010, the news report quoted a BPCL official as saying.


To provide digital content distribution service to subscribers at a very affordable price, BPCL may form a joint venture with a partner dealing either in cost intensive areas like content, transponder space and STB or a financer.

BPCL has acquired in-house expertise in satellite up linking and optimization of precious space segment in satellite. It has acquired experience in hub implementation at integrated data center at Greater Noida for connecting 300 offices and 3,000 users all over the country, the PTI report stated.

With revenue sharing between cable operators and broadcasters at 83 per cent and 17 per cent, BPCL hopes to rope in broadcasting community as there is a huge revenue loss to them.

Distribution of content being major bottleneck for the broadcaster, any organization which has the capability of doing it effectively and also managing the customer segment - customer acquisition, equipment logistics, first-level call handling and monthly collection of subscription - can play a major role in filling the gap.

"BPCL's advantage of being a 'neutral service provider' will encourage content players to willingly share their contents with BPCL at market determined prices," PTI quotes a company proposal, which envisages taking on a joint venture partner.

At the moment, while there are two DTH players --- Dish TV and Doordarshan Direct+ --- in the country, BPCL will be the sixth player to enter the arena. The other three DTH services are being planned by a Tata-Star joint venture, Sun TV and the Anil Ambani-promoted Reliance Skymagic.


Incidentally, News Corp has objected to Ambani using the `Sky' brand name.

If all the players actually get their services on air, India would be the only country in the world that would have bucked the global DTH trend of having one or two players per country.

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