Anil Ambani group launches direct-to-home TV service (Lead)

August 19th, 2008 - 8:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Aug 19 (IANS) The Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group launched its direct-to-home (DTH) television broadcasting service here Tuesday under the “Reliance Big TV” banner with a bouquet of 202 channels for customers across India.The service, starting Rs.1,490, which includes a three-month subscription, will be available from some 100,000 outlets in 6,500 towns in the country. The group has also set up a customer service cell that can handle over 50,000 calls a day.

“With the launch of Big TV DTH, we aim to accelerate the growth momentum and enhance the value of many million shareholders of Reliance Communications,” chairman Anil Ambani said.

“The huge potential of a quality and value-offering in the home entertainment service market offers us a unique opportunity to tap the strengths and synergies of telecom and entertainment sectors embedded within Reliance ADA Group.”

Big TV is the fifth entrant in the nine-million private DTH subscribers market after Dish TV, Tata Sky, Sun Direct and Doordarshan’s DD Direct Plus.

The ADAG promoted service provider will be using MPEG-4 compression technology, under which DTH service providers can compress more channels per transponder compared to those with MPEG-2, currently being used by Dish TV and Tata Sky.

“By the end of first quarter next year, Big TV will increase its number of channels to 300-350 with 8-10 special interactive offerings and gaming channels,” Big TV CEO Arun Kapoor said at the launch of the service here.

Kapoor hoped that in the next 12 months, Big TV would capture 40 percent of the burgeoning home entertainment service market.

Reliance Communications brand and marketing head Sanjay Behl said Big TV would “mark the shift of TV content control from broadcaster to customer hands and define the future of TV viewing in India”.

“This is not about television but an interactive home entertainment service that offers much more than any other DTH or cable service with innovative applications and value added services,” he added.

Initially, Big TV will come out with various schemes which would offer multiple price points and packages depending on the needs of the customers.

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