With the December 29 deadline for the implementation of the new TRAI rules drawing near, an analysis of the 332 channels that have already declared their prices indicates that Star India is the most expensive, followed by Zee and Sony.
Scroll down to see the full list of pay and FTA channels available on most DTH and cable platforms in India, along with their prices from Dec 29.
Going by the average numbers, the highest number of pay channels are with the Zee Group — including both entertainment and news channels, followed closely by Star India and TV18 groups.
Below, you can find the list of popular free and paid channels in India, arranged by language, genre and price. The green colored ones are the cheaper ones, while the purple colored ones are the premium priced channels.
Including its subsidiary Asianet Communications, Star India has a total of 51 pay channels, out of which 23 channels are priced at Rs 19 each. Only five are priced at Rs 1 each (see charts below).
If you tried to purchase all of Star-Asianet’s pay channels one by one, it would cost you a whopping Rs 646 per month.
Following closely on the heels of Star is Zee Entertainment, the entertainment focused division of Zee Group. Zee Entertainment has a total of 41 channels, out of which 19 are priced at Rs 19 each.
The average price of a Zee Entertainment pay channel is Rs 12.32 per month (see chart above).
If you purchased all of Zee Entertainment’s pay channels one by one, you would end up spending Rs 505 per month.
At the third place in terms of average price is Sony Pictures. The company has declared 25 pay channels with an average price of Rs 12 per month.
Together, they cost Rs 301 per month if purchased individually.
At the fourth place in terms of average pricing of channels under the new scheme is Sun TV.
The Chennai-based broadcaster has a total of 33 channels priced at an average of Rs 11 per month. The total cost of the individual channels works out to Rs 362 per month.
The last major network is Viacom 18, a joint venture of Reliance Industries’ controlled TV18 and Viacom of the US.
Viacom18 has a total of 32 pay channels. However, unlike the other four companies mentioned above, the pricing of Viacom18’s channels are considerably lower.
The average price of a Viacom18 pay channel is only Rs 7.80 per month. The total cost of all 32 channels is Rs 250 per month.
Other broadcasting companies, such as the Times Group, Turner, Discovery, TV18 News, Zee News and NDTV all charge much lower for their channels.
Times Group, for example, charges an average of Rs 7 per month for its 11 channels, followed by Turner at 6.4 rupees.
National Geographic and Discovery Communications are the cheapest providers of pay channels, at just Rs 3 per channel on average.
Discovery has a total of 13 pay channels in India and it would cost you Rs 36 to subscribe to all of them individually. Discovery also has among the cheapest channel bouquets as well.
It’s competitor National Geographic has 9 pay channels under the new system that comes into effect on December 29.
The total cost of these 9 channels works out to Rs 23.
Among news channels, NDTV’s average price is Rs 2, while that of TV Today is Rs 1.3 and News18 has an average price of Rs 0.90. Zee News’ average price is 50 paise per month.
It should be noted that most of the news channels are free.
Out of the estimated 800 or so TV channels in India, around 332 have already declared their prices.
The remaining 470 or so channels can be assumed to be free, also known as free-to-air or FTA.
Within the 332 pay channels, 232 are transmitting in standard definition or SD, while the remaining 100 are HD channels.
Out of the 232 SD channels, 57 are priced at Rs 10 or more, while the remaining 175 channels are priced at Rs 9 or lower.
Within this 175 channels, 108 channels are priced at Rs 2 per month or below.
In other words, 75% of the standard definition channels are priced at Rs 2 or below per month.
Below, you can find lists of free and paid channels in Hindi along with their monthly price.
Green indicates cheaper channels and blue indicates premium channels. HD channels are indicated in a larger font.
Below, you can find all English & Sports channels, including pay channels and free or FTA ones.
Find below a list of regional channels, including pay and FTA channels, sorted by language.
PAY CHANNELS PRICED 3 OR BELOW
CHANNELS PRICED ABOVE RS 3/MONTH
Things are more pricey when it comes to HD channels.
Out of the total 100 pay HD channels, only 31 are priced less than Rs 10.
Out of the remaining 69, 44 are priced at Rs 19 per month. This is more than in case of standard definition, where only 25 channels are priced at Rs 19 each.
It should be kept in mind that the above calculations are based on the individual channel price. However, in addition to individual channels, the broadcasters also offer packs that are designed to be much cheaper.
However, even if a consumer buys all the broadcaster packages, it will still cost him or her around Rs 600 per month, including capacity charges and tax.
It is expected that the prices of the individual channels will be reduced by the broadcasters, either through a case going on in the Supreme Court at present, or as people stop watching the more expensive channels.