MUMBAI: Anil Ambani has changed the name of his direct-to-home (DTH) venture to Reliance Bluemagic, following objections by the Rupert Murdoch-owned News Corp to the word 'Sky.'
Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Enterprise (ADAE) had applied for a DTH licence under the name 'Reliance Skymagic.' News Corp had issued a caution notice, claiming 'Sky' was its registered trademark. News Corp runs its DTH operations in UK under the name of BSkyB. Besides, it has Sky News, Sky Sports and Sky Radio. The trademark Sky was also registered in India.
"We have renamed the venture as Reliance Bluemagic. We wanted to have a different identity from T-Sky, the brand name of Tata Sky," ADAE business head for DTH project Arvind Kumar Narang tells Indiantelevision.com. Tata Sky is the 80:20 joint venture between Tatas and the Star Group.
Reliance has indicated to Isro that it wants to start by mid-2006 with six transponders on Insat-4 series, which it plans to ramp up over a period of time. "We are progressing with our plans and have a schedule in mind," says Narang.
Meanwhile, the introduction of T-Sky DTH services will get further delayed with Insat-4A now scheduled to launch only in December. The first launch was planned in August-end which was later pushed to November.
The DTH market will get crowded with four players - the Subhash Chandra-promoted Dish TV, Prasar Bharati's DD Direct, Sun Direct and T-Sky - already in the fray. With Reliance and BPCL also interested in the business, India would be a unique market with several operators. Internationally, this is restricted to just one or two players depending on the size of the market.