India is all set to have its first video on demand service. The Subhash Chandra-promoted direct-to-home (DTH) television broadcasting service provider Dish TV will start its video on demand service by April 2005.
“This is a value added service offering we are planing to offer to our customers. We are building up a library of movies, both in Hindi as well as in English. We are also in talks with a number of production houses for this purpose,” Sunil Khanna, chief executive officer of Dish TV, told Business Standard today.
Dish TV plans to adopt two models for offering video on demand service. In the first model, it would offer select movies on multiple channels at different times.
In this model, a consumer can watch the particular movie on any of the channels and pay for it. In the second model, the consumer can select video from a list of movies and pay for it. In this model, the consumer will be given the choice to select the movie and he can watch at any time he wants.
In the first phase, the broadcaster would start with offering movies on demand and in the second phase the service would be extended to events and sports.
“India is an ideal movie on demand market. But we need to see how the market evolves for sports and events considering the fact most of the sports broadcasting market is driven by advertising,” Khanna said.
The DTH service provider, which has invested close of Rs 200 crore in setting up the infrastructure to offer the DTH service, is expecting to have about one million customers by March 2006.
It currently has about 175, 000 customers. The DTH service provider, which is starting its foray into the urban market today, expects the main growth to come from the cities.
“In cities people have more disposable income than the rural areas. We expect the major growth to come from the urban launch,” Khanna said.
Dish TV expects to get one million customers every year from next year onwards as a result of this. “This growth will continue for the next two to three years,” he said adding that the Dish TV expects to break-even after two years.
As a part of its growth strategy, Dish TV is targeting 200 channels by December 2005.
“Now we have about 120 channels including the radio channels. This will grow to 200. We are looking at including specialty channels, sports channels lifestyle channels etc on the platform,” he said.
He also said that the service provider is planing a major promotional campaign to promote its launch in the urban market.