Viewers of Tamil channels are in for another hike in their monthly subscription. According to industry sources three Tamil channels from the Sun Network - KTV, Sun Network and SCV are likely to become pay channels.
According to sources close to the Sun Network, the three channels are expected to turn pay channels by December 1. The monthly subscription per connection is expected to be between Rs 15 and Rs 20. This is expected to increase the revenue of the network considerably.
The network has already started running a scroll/ticker on its channels advertising for distributors for Sun Network. In fact, it is currently in the process of appointing cable and satellite TV distributors across Tamil Nadu, sources added.
However, it will do its own distribution wherever SCV, a unit of Kalanithi Maran controlled Sun Network, is present. SCV is the number one MSO (multi-system operator) in the state with around 20 lakh subscribers under its fold, accounting for over 90 per cent of the total cable connections in Chennai, Madurai, Trichy and Coimbatore - the four cities it has presence. It is looking for around 30 to 60 distributors in rest of Tamil Nadu. The whole process is expected to take around 45-50 days. Sun has already placed an order for decoder boxes made in Taiwan under the brandname `Zinwell'.
Interestingly, Sun TV - the flagship channel of the network - is not in the list of its channels scheduled to go pay currently. It is perhaps because the flagship channels of other Tamil channels like Raj TV and Jaya TV are still free to air.
However, in the long run Sun Network is planning to convert all its channels into pay channels by end 2003.
It is starting with its Telugu channels - Gemini TV and Teja TV - on October 1, followed by the rest in stages. Ultimately, all the Sun channels would be offered as a bouquet.