Mumbai: Direct-to-home operator Dish TV India is exploring a new technology to beam channels in vehicles for intra-city travel in metros at special subscription rates, a top official said on Wednesday.
The product, which can be fitted in cars, buses and sports utility vehicles (SUVs), will air limited channels only, unlike a similar product launched last year, managing director Jawahar Goel told Reuters over the telephone.
Last year, the firm had launched Dish TV mobile, which airs all channels, can be fitted in large cars and SUVs for inter-city travel, and the service is currently being used by Kingfisher Airlines, the Railways and Indian Navy.
“We are working on the hardware, which goes in the cars in metro cities, where the travel time from office to home takes 1-“ hours or more,” he said. “We can provide people with a couple of news channels, business channels, sports and music.”
The new device would be compact and will have buffering capacity so the viewer doesn’t lose video under a tree or in a tunnel while driving, he said, adding unlike the Dish TV mobile units which are bulky.
This month, rival Sun Direct, which has over 3 million subscribers, launched high definition services, claiming to be the first such platform in India.
ONE MAN’S LOSS, ANOTHER’S GAIN
While analyst view the ongoing spat between multiplex owners and movie producers as a posiitve for DTH operators, Dish TV is not keen on buying movie rights and has a revenue-sharing model with producers, Goel said.
In March, film-makers decided to freeze marketing and release of all films over a dispute on revenue-sharing with multiplex owners.
“Movie-on-demand is a category which is taking up but there is no great revenue. DTH will not become significant revenue generator for film-makers,” Goel said.
The firm, which plans to spend Rs8 billion in 2009-10 to acquire hardware and add more subscribers, expects television consumption to rise in the coming months due to elections and the upcoming indian premier league matches.
“The total industry will garner 10-11 million subscribers in FY10,” Goel said, adding there was a concern due to recession in world economies and a rising dollar.
However, the company sees an additional burden of 500 rupees per new subscriber on account of foreign exchange losses on set-top boxes, which are imported.
This impact on the subscriber acquisition cost translates to Rs1.25 billion in the current fiscal year, Goel said. The Indian rupee has lost 2.3% against the US dollar so far in 2009.
Shares in the firm ended down 0.16% at Rs32.05 in a choppy Mumbai market.