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Tata Sky upping subscription rate to Rs 300

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MUMBAI: Tata Sky is increasing the monthly subscription rate of its direct-to-home (DTH) service to Rs 300, sources in the industry say. The revised rate, up from Rs 200, is likely to come into effect from 1 December.

Tata Sky, however, has decided not to offer "tiered" channel packages at this stage of the DTH market. "Bundling channels and fixing different rates is confusing to the consumers. The mobile telephony market has shown that to everybody in this country. Tata Sky will continue to offer a single package unlike its competitor Dish TV," sources add.

When contacted for a comment on the developments,Tata Sky CEO Vikram Kaushik remained noncommital.

Tata Sky offers 102 channels (including Star, Sony, Zee, Discovery, Cartoon Network, Disney, ESPN Star Sports and National Geographic) and six interactive services (Actve Khabar, Actve Newsroom, Actve Star News, Actve Games, Actve Sports and an on-screen guide).

Tata Sky had stuck to the introductory offer price of Rs 200 even after Zee Turner's 32 channels had hopped on to the DTH platform in late September. As the interim pricing of these group of channels (fixed by The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal till the dispute gets resolved) was Rs 75, a rate revision was in the pipeline. But the debate was whether Tata Sky would subsidise the content cost to the subscribers in the wake of CAS (conditional access system) being introduced on 1 January with a la carte choice of channels that would pull down cable TV rates.

Tata Sky claims to have a subscriber base of 250,000 and says it is on target to achieve one million within a year of operations. The southern region continues to be a weak spot with the Sun group of channels yet to join the platform. Tata Sky has moved the TDSAT, hoping to get a positive verdict which would ensure the supply of the channels from the Sun stable.

The Tata Sky set-top box (supplied by News Corp owned NDS), hardware and installation cost has been priced at Rs 3,999 (inclusive of taxes) with a full service warranty for one year.

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