Pressured by lack of revenue model for narrow band, UTV is converting its language portals into broadband streaming platform. The content team for these portals has been disbanded. Vijay TV will, in the new strategy, supply streaming content for UTV’s Tamil language portal, Tamizha-Tamizha.com. UTV Interactive is also in talks with two Gujarati a regional language channel to get content for its Gujarati portal, Kemcho.com. These will become channels on Sharkstream.com.
TSN.com, an online system for teleshopping, has also been put on the backburner with most of the staff being retrenched. Customers could book and buy their products through this online-operated business. Sharkstream.com plans to go pay by June 1. The monthly fee per subscriber will be $2-$5, depending on how many channels will be brought under the package.
Sharkstream currently has 15 content players. The company plan to double their partners by six months. UTV has signed with cable operators Spectranet in Delhi, ICE Networks in Bangalore and Icenet in Ahmedabad to make Sharkstream.com available to customers in these cities. Sharkstream will receive from the cable operators Rs 50-100 a month per customer.
Sharkstream.com has 50,000 customers. The company in an online communication with its customers, found that 18,000 of them would prefer to subscribe to the pay service.