's Digital Edge
Tata Sky launches PVR service, eyes 8 million subscribers by FY'12 Team

(14 October 2008 11:59 pm)


MUMBAI: Tata Sky, a joint venture between the Tata Group and Star, is targeting a subscriber base of eight million by FY'12 even as the DTH space has become fiercely competitive with the recent entry of Reliance ADAG's Big TV and Bharti's Airtel Digital TV.


Tata Sky currently has 2.7 million connections, behind market leader Dish TV's 3.94 million. Sun Direct has already mopped up one million subscribers in a short span of time, taking the total direct-to-home (DTH) subscriber base to over the 6-million mark within five years.

"We are looking for at least 8 million connections by FY'12," Tata Sky managing director and CEO Vikram Kaushik said here today while unveiling, along with brand ambassador Aamir Khan, Tata Sky+, a new-age service that uses the personal video recorder (PVR) technology.

Tata Sky has already invested Rs 20 billion and the DTH project cost would be Rs 40 billion, Kaushik added while stating that the break even for this "infrastructure kind of business" would be in excess of five years.

PVR allows subscribers to watch a particular television show while recording another. Viewers can also pause and rewind live television programmes.

"PVR technology will not only help our subscribers to time-shift their TV-viewing with the record and playback features, but also give them the convenience to enjoy uninterrupted TV with the pause and rewind live TV features. The hard disk enables recording of programmes and movies," Kaushik said.

The set-top boxes for PVR, which will use MPEG 4 compression technology, are priced at Rs 8,999. However, it will be offered to the existing Tata Sky subscribers at discounted rates, Kaushik said.

The DTH service provider aims to position this service as a premium offering and it would be rolled-out in a phased manner across the country. "We are looking at the metros and big towns in the first phase. we will then go to tier-II towns," said Kaushik.

Tata Sky will also launch HD channels on its platform. "Our focus will be on strengthening our regional channel line-up and on new-age interactive services. Research shows that the average viewing time for our interactive services is 34 minutes per day. This is out of a daily total TV viewing time of 180 minutes," said Kaushik.

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