Cable TV

ZEEL announces new TV channel prices ahead of deadline

Multiple bouquets in various languages proposed; other b’casters could feel the pressure to follow

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MUMBAI: Ahead of 31 August 2018 deadline for publishing TV channel prices in a new format and a day before the Supreme Court hears a case relating to TRAI’s new tariff regime, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd  (ZEEL) has made public its channel prices as suggested by the regulator in 2016, setting an example for owners of other TV channels.

All ZEEL channels will be available on a-la-carte basis, as required by regulations, and the consumers will also have the option to choose from specifically created bouquets for Hindi speaking markets (HSM) and different regional language markets like Marathi, Bangla, Odia, Bhojpuri, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam, an official statement from ZEEL said on Monday evening.

The Punit Goenka-led ZEEL’s initiative to be first off the blocks with a-la-carte pricing could very well put pressure on other broadcasters to follow the example. Goenka also happens to be the president of the Indian Broadcasting Foundation, an industry body that claims its members manage 350+ TV channels and about 90 per cent of television viewership across the country.

Meanwhile, according to ZEEL, for each market, there will be multiple bouquets available to consumers across the country at different price points. Each bouquet would constitute a mix of channels of different genres, including general entertainment, movies, news, infotainment and music. The starting bouquet (B1) is likely to exclude English entertainment and English movie channels whereas the premium bouquet would include all channels offered by Zee.

ZEEL is likely to keep the prices of Hindi language bouquets from Rs. 45 upwards. For other languages, bouquet prices will be higher in those markets where Zee has multiple offerings and lower in other cases. For the discerning high definition (HD) consumers, Zee is creating additional bouquets that will make it convenient for various operators to offer to their respective subscribers, the statement said. The Hindi language HD bouquets are likely to be priced Rs. 60 upwards.

ZEEL has decided to offer all its News channels along with its other popular channels like Zee Anmol, Big Ganga and Big Magic as part of these pay bouquets. As a result, these channels would not be available in the FTA pack.

In a related development, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a case filed by Star India and Vijay TV against Madras High Court clearing regulator TRAI’s new tariff regulations, which were first announced middle 2016 but has been in suspended animation since late 2016 due to various legalities.

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