Many of us have read about Abraham Maslow’s Pyramid that explains the hierarchy of various needs. Starting from the most basic ones to attaining the level of self transcendence where no need comes into the picture and it goes beyond every form. However the present day world definitely stresses on needs. Everyone needs more and so everyone demands more. Everyone wants things which personalized and customized to suit them and their surroundings. Everyone wants to do what they like and love. In the same way, everyone wants to watch content which they like and which, according to them reciprocates to their needs and value for money. And thus, when television in India was going through a dramatic shift from antenna to cable to DTH, it was the customers, the common man who was kept into focus. Again, post the dramatic shift; it is now the technological revolution in DTH that is catching everyone’s attention. From the normal SD to HD to 3D and so on, there is no stopping to technology and in the same way there is no stopping to the needs and the demands of the people.
Like technology, it is also essential to chip in ways and means to make the customers happy and also to keep them satisfied. To provide them their value for money is what gets you more subscribers is supposedly the mantra of the DTH players. While every year or two has witnessed something new that these players have to offer. While the last year i.e. 2010 saw the emergence of High Definition television, well known as HDTV, in India, it has been the packages, before and after sales service, etc. that are valued more by their existing subscribers as well as the prospective subscribers. The current major DTH players in India that have varied packages in the offering are Dish TV, Sun Direct, Tata Sky, Reliance Digital TV, Airtel DTH and Videocon D2H. All of them have an A La Carte package as a common factor because that has been made mandatory by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). A La Carte is a package where all channels are priced individually, and not in packages or bundles of any kind.
While each of them has their installation charges from anything between Rs. 1000 – Rs. 2000, it is the packages on offer that count the most for a subscriber to stick with the same provider or to switch to the better one. Packages vary according to region, genre and exclusivity of the channels available. Tata Group’s Tata Sky believes in giving two packages. One where a subscriber can select from a list of genre based package that includes selection of regional language channels of his choice. The other one is Make My Own Pack Service which allows a subscriber to select the channels of his choice and customize his package. Airtel DTH provides monthly packs which include 5 packs for South India and 5 packs for the rest of India. It also offers A La Carte packs and child packs for the subscriber to meet the demands of his or her children. India’s leading DTH player Dish TV has in its offerings Child Packs and True Value Packs for the North and South separately. Here, each pack is then subdivided into silver, gold and platinum.
Reliance Digital TV comes up with a simple package idea so that it does not confuse the customers. One can get a package in just three simple steps. Step one is selecting an entry offer, step two would be adding a regional pack from a variety of languages offered and finally third one includes a special add on which includes channels catering to music, entertainment, lifestyle and so on. Apart from the A La Carte package, Videocon D2H provides its subscribers with two packages - one for the South and the other for the rest of India i.e. for North, East and West. Finally we have Sun network’s Sun Direct which keeps the most simple packages - Value packs and Value + (plus) packs. Tony D’Silva, Group CEO – Sun Group says, “According to the new regulation by TRAI, all channels have to be A La Carte apart from the other packages they provide. Sun Direct has only two packs; the first is a basic pack which is called the Value pack while the other is a Value + pack which is yet to be launched. However Value + will have a lot of niche channels and also some channels which are not available in India.” But does this process of having different packages increase the subscriber base? D’Silva answers, “It does help in increasing customers because the existing ones tell the prospective ones about the services. It definitely helps in expanding in the market but that happens gradually. You cannot see things changing dramatically or in a jiffy with the introduction of new offers or technology for that matter.”
Well, it is quite rightly said that the present day man is highly materialistic and cannot quench his thirst to better himself. He keeps inventing new things to satisfy his needs.
Tags – DTH, TRAI, Digital, TV, Package, A la carte, Value, Subscriber, Tata Sky, Reliance, Airtel, Dish TV, Sun Direct, Videocon
April 22, 2013, 5:55 am UTC
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