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Sky wars get bigger with Big TV’s entry

The launch of Reliance ADA Group’s DTH venture, Big TV, has stirred the existing players to intensify their advertising, most of which concentrates on highlighting their strengths to consumers. Saurabh Turakhia reports.

india Updated: Aug 27, 2008 20:54 IST
Saurabh Turakhia

The race for DTH just got bigger. The launch of Reliance ADA Group’s DTH venture, Big TV, has stirred the existing players to intensify their advertising, most of which concentrates on highlighting their strengths to consumers.

The advertisement of Tata Sky, which claims of 2.3 million subscribers by July 2008, features its brand ambassador Aamir Khan highlighting Tata Sky as the enviable blend of Tata group’s pedigree, trust and knowledge of India, the technological expertise, and DTH knowledge of Newscorp’s DTH arm Sky.

Speaking to Hindustan Times, Vikram Mehra, chief marketing officer, Tata Sky said, “We are planning to launch the personal video recorder, which is available in countries such as US, UK and Australia in this calendar year to enable Indian viewers to record their programmes and watch them when they want.”

Mehra added that Tata Sky has set a target of having eight million subscribers by 2012. He estimated the Indian DTH
market to grow to 30-35 million subscribers by 2012.

As of now, Dish TV — the oldest private player in the Indian DTH market — has managed over three million subscribers. The Dish TV spokesperson was unavailable for comment.

Although Big TV is entering the DTH market late, it is quite bullish about the potential.
“The home entertainment service market, despite serving close to 125 million TV households for decades, has not yet delivered quality, choice and service experience that leads to customer delight,” said Arun K Kapoor, president, Reliance BIG TV Ltd.

According to an industry source, the company has earmarked Rs 250-300 crore as its advertising budget for the first year.

Big TV is expected to keep up with the pace in line with the hype that preceded its launch.

According to a source who did not wish to be named, Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan will promote Big TV.