Dish TV, India’s largest pay TV platform, today unveiled the list of channels, packs and prices available on its platform under the new TRAI rules.
Like other competitors, the company has largely stuck to the prices and packs announced by broadcasters like Star India and Zee Entertainment, and does not offer much by way of discounts over these broadcaster MRPs.
Other platforms too have opted to charge the full MRP, belying hopes of at least some consumers that DTH and cable companies will offer some discount to the prices outlined by broadcasters like Star, Sony and TV18 over the last few days.
Dish TV will offer 27 packs from Sony priced between Rs 12 to Rs 90 per month, excluding taxes.
Similarly, it will offer 50 packs of TV18 group, priced between Rs 8 and Rs 50 (see chart below).
Dish TV will also offer 24 packs from Zee, 13 packages from Sun TV and 58 packages from Star India.
Both the channel prices and the pack prices listed by Dish TV are more or less the same as what has been announced by broadcasters earlier.
For example, Star’s value packs have been priced at Rs 49, excluding taxes, which is the same as the MRP announced by Star last week.
Similarly, Sony’s Happy India HD pack is priced at Rs 90 per month.
More interestingly, the listing indicates that Dish TV will carry all the channels packaged by broadcasters like Sony and TV18.
If any platform does not carry even a single channel contained in a broadcaster bouquet, then it becomes impossible for the cable or DTH player to offer the broadcasters’ bouquet.
The subscribers of the DTH or cable company will then have to buy their channels one by one at a considerably higher cost.
In fact, the key reason for broadcasters to only offer large, multi-genre packs and not offer smaller packs is to force platforms like Dish TV to carry each and every one of their channels, and not drop less popular ones.
The strategy seems to be paying off, going by Dish TV’s full list of supported packs and included channels.
From the lists, Dish TV seems to have stuck to the broadcaster bouquets as far as pay channels are concerned, instead of trying to create its own packs by combining channels from broadcasters.
This was expected, as broadcasters severely limited the ability of cable and DTH providers to create their own packs by pricing individual channels at a high rate and only offering large bundles of channels instead.
Like sister brand D2h, Dish TV too has offered two sample base packs, one for North Indian audiences and another for South Indian audiences.
However, like in case of D2h, consumers would be better off creating their own packs of 100 channels instead of going with the suggested FTA packs.
It should be noted that unlike in the earlier scenario, the concept of base pack does not hold much value in the new TRAI tariff regime.
This is because any customer can call up the DTH or cable provider and ask them to replace or add any channel in the ‘base pack’. In case the requested channel is also a ‘free’ or FTA channel, then the whole process will have no impact on the monthly bill.
For example, Dish TV has included channels like Public TV, Mojo TV in its base pack for South Indian subscribers.
However, a customer from Tamil Nadu can call up and ask for other free channels like Captain TV or Sirippoli or Star Sports First to be included in place of channels that he or she doesn’t watch.
For this purpose, a full list of Dish TV channels is also available, along with their individual prices.