SET aims for No. 1 perch on subscription revenues

MUMBAI: Sony Entertainment Television has set itself an ambitious agenda for the year ahead on the distribution front. By the end of this fiscal, it aims to become the number one network as far as subscription revenues are concerned.


This the brief that Shantonu Aditya, SET's senior vice-president franchise channels & distribution has before him. Says Aditya: "One of the objectives for the year ahead is to set benchmarks and standards for ourselves. To be the Number 1 network. This doesn't mean just subscription revenue collections. It includes customer care and the institution of systems and processes which bring a high level of professionalism into the way we function. We are investing a lot in training our people as well in building relationships with our affiliates."


While Aditya was not willing to offer any revenue targets, SET will at least have to cross what Star India is expected to take in this year at the current network subscription rate of Rs 40.50, which according to industry sources is about Rs 2500 million.


Obviously it helps that SET has bagged the telecast rights to all ICC designated one day international cricket, including the next two cricket World Cups over the next six years which is what will be the pivot on which the drive forward will be executed. Then there is the "quality package" that is the "One Alliance" - what the distribution joint venture between SET and Discovery is called. The JV is identical to the one that Zee Telefilms and Turner India formed last December as far as the stake breakup is concerned. Sony has a 74 per cent stake and Discovery holds 26 per in the JV.


Aditya, who is also president of the Sony Discovery JV, elaborated on the "One Alliance" subscription packages on offer thus:


Any one of the four channels SET, SET MAX, AXN or Discovery - Rs 36
Any one of the two channels CNBC India or Animal Planet - Rs 15
Any two channels - Rs 36.50
Any three channels - Rs 37
Any four channels - Rs 38
The full six-channel package - Rs 40

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