Republic TV insists it's FTA, DTH platforms to charge subscribers for viewing?

NEW DELHI/MUMBAI: Republic TV continues to make news even as it reports views and news. Touted as the country’s truly free-to-air (FTA) news channel, however, what is surprising is that some DTH platforms have put a price on the channel and started charging subscribers accordingly a little over a fortnight after its launch.

It all started last weekend when a gentleman posted on Facebook “Dus ka dum. #RepublicTV  starts charging Rs 10 pm (Power of 10. Republic TV starts charging Rs. 10 per month).” A flurry of posts --- some of them sarcastic --- for and against this move followed. We at at decided to go back to  industry to get the real picture.

In a nutshell this is the scenario: some of the DTH platforms in the country have decided to charge subscribers for Republic TV from a price ranging between Rs 10 and Rs 3 per month per sub; MSOs, at least the big ones, are still keeping the new kid on the block free for viewing, while on popular OTT platform Hotstar, one can sign in with a personalized email or one’s FB account to watch Republic TV for free.

But, the news channel in question maintained it is still FTA.

Tata Sky MD & CEO Harit Nagpal, while confirming his company has put a price on Republic TV for subscribers, told all DTH platforms are permitted to charge a minimal pre-decided rate for even FTA channels.

While pointing out rates for FTA channels were fixed by the platform and placed on the website, Nagpal explained such a move (like that involving Republic TV) was permitted under the relevant tariff orders issued by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. Though he did not dwell on the actual pricing, some subscribers have reported that Tata Sky is charging Rs 10 per month from its subscribers for Republic TV on ala carte basis.

According to Videocond2h's spokesperson, by definition FTA channels are supposed to be free, but there’s a cost that a distribution platform incurs on distributing a TV channel and which has to be recovered.

Pointing out that there was “no compulsion” to give a FTA channel `free’ to subscribers, spokesperson explained, “The ala-carte price is Rs 3 for Republic TV. Pricing is a matter of continuous discussion on marketing feedback, fine tuning and how competition was doing. The channel might be free, but there is a cost to carry the channel on my platform. If I don't get any revenue from the channel, how will I recover the (satellite) rental.”

Though officially it could not be confirmed, but Airtel Digital TV too is charging Rs 3 per month per month from subscribers for Republic TV. As far as the Essel group’s Dish TV is concerned, a scroll from time to time is being run on channel number 771, Republic TV, highlighting that it channel will be available till  the first week of June as part of a free preview scheme, which makes it clear that the platform also may start charging subscribers sooner or later.

When got across to Republic TV for clarifications, a senior executive insisted on Monday that the news channel was FTA and had no plans to become a pay channel. The executive added that the company would reach out to DTH ops trying to “persuade (them) not to charge for Republic TV and to place it in the FTA package.”


Republic TV has 51.9% viewership in debut  week: BARC gives data to paid subs despite NBA's request

Indian English news channels boycott BARC's viewership monitoring

Republic TV, TRAI, NBA and the case of multiple LCNs

BARC-NBA face-off: Experts feel ad agencies, TV channels will take individual call; resolution best option

Latest Reads
Sunny Leone in Discovery JEET’s show Man Vs Wild

Sunny Leone will be displaying her adventurous side as host of the mega-popular survival series Man Vs. Wild. The iconic series will telecast in Hindi on the soon-to-be-launched GEC Discovery JEET. The new GEC will premiere in the second week of February 2018 and the series will feature the...

Television TV Channels GECs
Times Now appoints Sujeet Mishra as marketing head

Times Network, part of India’s media conglomerate, The Times Group today announced the appointment of Sujeet Mishra as head of marketing, Times Now.

Television TV Channels People
Experience space with BBC's new VR experience

The BBC is giving you a chance fly. Home - A VR Spacewalk is an interactive virtual reality (VR) experience launched today for the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift, and is available to download for free via the Steam Store and the Oculus Store.

Television TV Channels Factual & Documentary
Sony BBC Earth presents the Best of 2017

Sony BBC Earth revisits some of its most popular episodes of the best shows in a special programming line-up titled Best of 2017 starting 18 December 2017, every night at 7 pm and 11 pm.

Television TV Channels Factual & Documentary
Increased revenue from traditional media boosts Shemaroo numbers

Integrated media content house Shemaroo Entertainment Limited (Shemaroo) reported 18.3 percent higher year-on-year (y-o-y) consolidated total revenue for the quarter ended 30 September 2017 (Q2 FY 2017-18, the quarter under review) stood at Rs 1,345.7 million as compared with Rs 1,138.6 million in...

Television Production House Film Production
21st CF spins-off into new live news & sports co Fox

MUMBAI: After the blockbuster acquisition of 21st Century Fox by The Walt Disney Company, the former has announced that it will spinoff into a new brand Fox’ that will seek to replicate its own success in the newly focussed verticals of live news and sports brands. Using fiscal 2017 as a base, the...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
With Star India, Disney emerges as India's largest M&E firm

MUMBAI: Unlike the US, where the merger of The Walt Disney Co and 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets is between two near equals, the scenario in India is totally different. 21st Century Fox’s India venture Star India is a $1.7 billion dollar media and entertainment behemoth while Disney India...

Television TV Channels People
Disney to buy 21st Century Fox assets for $52.4 billion

The Walt Disney Co has set up a $52.4 billion, all-stock deal to acquire 20th Century Fox and other entertainment and sports assets from Rupert Murdoch’s empire.

Television TV Channels Movie Channels
MOVIES NOW brings #StopDreamingAndStartWinning with 100 Mania Season 5 for its viewers

Movies Now, India’s english movie channel, rings in the festive season with its property ‘100 Mania’, beginning Friday, 15 December at 9pm. In its 5th season, the channel has curated a line-up of some of the biggest Hollywood blockbusters like Furious 7, Jurassic World, Disney’s The Jungle Book,...

Television TV Channels English Entertainment

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories