Television

Chrome Data: A reality check for Star’s RIO?

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MUMBAI: In a move that was bound to give birth to a whole new module of distribution, Star India, after deciding to enter only into Reference Interconnect Offer (RIO) deals, in late October this year, decided to give incentives to the multi system operators (MSOs) for carrying its channels.



With a promise to empower the viewer and platforms, usher in a new era of transparency, and boost the entire digitisation eco-system, the broadcaster decided to incentivise platform operators, if they meet the three criteria: firstly, provide more Star channels on its platform; secondly, give it to as many subscribers as it can; and thirdly, give easy access by placing the channels in the top LCN on its platform.



However, the shift didn’t go down well with the multi system operators (MSOs). Voices were raised; only to go down with a pinch of salt as slowly they agreed to put all Star channels on a la carte. With IndusInd Media and Communications Limited (IMCL) being the first one to agree to the demands of Maharashtra Cable Operators Federation (MCOF), the others including Den Networks, Digicable and Siti Cable also agreed to give the Star network channels only on viewer’s choice.



Hathway Cable & Datacom joined the bandwagon after almost a month, by coming out with its new pricing and packaging system.



And now with everyone toeing the same lines, one would expect things getting in place, if not perfect. However, a look at the opportunity to see (OTS) collated week-on-week by Chrome Data Media & Analytics tells another story.

If numbers are to be believed, the OTS of channels from the network have seen a setback after the announcement of RIO. There has been a certain percentage difference between the pre and the post RIO era. And suffering the most are the niche and sports channels from the network’s stable.



Sports channel s across India saw a drop of 9.5 per cent OTS. Channels impacted by this drop are Star Sports 1, 2, 3 & 4. Similarly, English entertainment and movie channels too have felt the heat. With 27.7 per cent OTS drop and 11.7 per cent OTS loss, channels like Star Movies and Star Movies Action and Star World and Fox Crime are losing out in their respective genres.



The only channels which haven’t seen much impact from the RIO deal belong to the general entertainment category. It has seen a marginal drop of 0.5 per cent OTS from 81.76 per cent to 81.39 per cent, thanks to high demand of channels like Channel V, Star Utsav and Star Plus.



To fix the damage done, the network will have to work hand-in-hand with the MSOs and advertise as much as possible to let consumers want to avail all its channels.

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