Airtel digital TV-the DTH service from Bharti Airtel, has added 41 new channels to its bouquet, taking the total to 247.
The move will allow Airtel Digital, which has been more of a trailer in the DTH wars as far as channel selection was concerned, to move up to the level of other players like Tata Sky and Reliance DIgital.
It also added four new HD channels — Star Gold, Star Movies, Star Plus, Star World — taking its total HD bouquet to 7. The bouquet is now available for Rs 65 per month — cheaper than on Reliance Big TV, but costlier than Tata Sky. It is also bigger than those of Reliance Big TV and Tata Sky.
With this, Airtel Digital will have the High Definition (True HD) versions of the National Geographic Channel (NGC), Discovery, Movies Now, Star Gold, Star Movies, Star Plus and Star World.
The Asli HD group of channels on Tata Sky (co-owned by the same group that owns the Star group) costs only Rs 50 per month, but has only six channels — Star World HD, Star Movies HD, Star Plus HD, Star Gold HD, National Geographic HD & Discovery HD World.
A similar Ultra Sharp pack on Reliance Big TV, launched last month, costs Rs 75 per month. It has only five channels — Star Plus HD, Star Movies HD, Movies Now HD, Nat Geo HD and iConcerts HD. However, Reliance Big TV also provides upscaled HD service on all other channels as well.
The 37 standard definition channels added today by Airtel include BBC Entertainment, CBS Love, CBS Spark, CBS Prime, CBeebies, DD Malayalam, Discovery Science, Discovery Turbo, Food Food, Fox Crime, Enterr 10, Sakshi TV, Suvarna NEWS 24*7 and Magik TV.
The expansion is expected to help the company face up to tough competition in India’s explosive DTH market. Airtel Digital had been suffering in the non-Hindi market due to a perceived lack of regional channels, which it has now addressed.
Sugato Banerji CMO- Airtel digital TV said that Airtel Digital TV now has “one of the largest regional bouquets on DTH.”