Sony Pictures India has become the fourth broadcaster to revamp its channel packages under new TRAI rules, responding to market conditions.
Broadcasters like Zee, Times Network and TV18 had earlier tweaked their channel prices to make them more affordable and accessible to users.
With Sony also tweaking its packages, Star India remains as the only major broadcaster yet to change its initial bouquet and pricing strategy. Star continues to offer broadly two packs — value and premium — and does not break out its English channels or Sports channels.
However, the company could be forced to offer more choices to make them accessible to users as well as DTH and cable companies. Two DTH players, Sun Direct and D2h, have boycotted Star’s current bouquets in an apparent attempt to pressurize the broadcaster to come up with smaller packs.
SONY’S HAPPY INDIA
Meanwhile, Sony has started offering a greater variety of channels under its new Happy India plans compared to its initial line up.
The initial list was split into four types, Platinum, Premium/Gold, Silver and Sixer.
The biggest change is that the new line-up offers more choice to non-Hindi speakers by breaking out Sports channels as well as English channels from Sony’s Hindi offerings.
Earlier, South Indian users had to subscribe to the company’s Hindi channels to watch its three three English channels — AXN, PIX and Sony Earth.
On the downside, Sony has also decided to drop an English channel – Le Plex HD – going forward, which has reduced its English portfolio to three.
The new Happy India plans introduce a dedicated English pack comprising the three channels and priced at Rs 12 per month for the SD version and Rs 20 per month for the HD version. Earlier, one would have had to subscribe to a Rs 90 pack to watch those channels.
Meanwhile, it also has two dedicated Sports packs, one with Ten 3 and the other without it.
The pack without Ten 3 are priced at Rs 31 for the SD version and 48 for the HD version, while the pack with Ten 3 is priced at Rs 39 for SD and 59 for HD.
It also offers all its English and Sports channels, except Ten 3, for Rs 47 for the SD version and 50 for the HD version.
It also has three Happy India packs focused on the South Indian market starting from Rs 19.
Besides the above, Sony also offers Marathi and Bangla versions of the above packs which come with Sony’s Bangla and Sony offerings such as Sony Aath and Sony Marathi.
Sony and Star are the only two major sports broadcasters, other than Discovery and DD.