Dish TV set to create niche channels to beat the competition

NEW DELHI: With a second player in the DTH arena round the corner in the form of Tata Sky, Dish TV is finalizing creation of new channels for its subscribers.

According to Dish TV CEO Sunil Khanna, work has started on new niche channels to be introduced on the DTH platform over the next 12-24 months.

Pointing out that the target is to have a between 190-200 channels on Dish TV, Khanna said, "Some of the new channels would be created within the Zee group, while few may be brought in as part of third party distribution."

The reason behind creating niche channels instead of importing products from outside India is that not all niche channels available are suited for Indian viewers.

For example, Khanna said, if Dish wants to introduce a premium gardening channel, there was no use getting one from outside as the weather conditions and local environment is different in India.

“To give an instance, if we have a gardening channel, then it’s best to create it in India and in-house. This way we would also be able to study the feasibility of such niche channels, which may have limited, but loyal viewership that would be ready to pay even a premium,” Khanna said.

Dish TV, country’s first pay TV platform, is managed by the Subhash Chandra-controlled ASC Enterprises that is the DTH licence holder. Another Chandra company, Zee Network, has a programme supply agreement with ASC.

Dish TV, which is pumping up the noise around the usefulness of subscribing to a DTH service, is also increasing its investment in the project.

“We have spent around Rs 3.5 billion in the DTH project till now, out of which a major part has been spent on customer acquisition,” Khanna said.

He added that investment would be upped “as needed from time to time to expand operations and offerings.”

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