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Sun Direct forays into Mumbai market; to complete all-India rollout this week

08-December-2008
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Sun Direct forays into Mumbai market; to complete all-India rollout this week

The already fierce DTH war in Mumbai, particularly between Big TV and Airtel Digital TV, who nearly came to blows through their advertisements, is set to get fiercer still with the launch of Sun Direct in Mumbai on Monday, December 8, 2008. The DTH space in India’s financial capital is already witness to some intense competition between DishTV, Tata Sky, Big TV and Airtel Digital TV.

The direct-to-home (DTH) television service promoted by Chennai-based Sun TV Network Ltd founder Kalanidhi Maran’s Sun Direct TV, is on an expansion spree, which began in three phases. Sun Direct kickstarted the third phase with its Mumbai launch and plans to complete its pan-India rollout by the end of this week, beginning with its Mumbai launch.

McCann Erickson is handling the creative duties for Sun Direct, while Mindshare is the media agency. The DTH company plans to have a 360-degree campaign involving print, television, radio, the Internet and outdoor, and spend Rs 150 crore on marketing and branding campaigns to push their pan-India presence.

Speaking with exchange4media, Tony D’Silva, COO, Sun Direct, said, “DTH is not a rich man’s perk as people pay for what they watch and we are merely following this policy in Mumbai as well. All our channels on our platforms are comprehensive; we are offering more than 200 channels. Our market spend will be Rs 150 crore, which is pan-India.”

DTH players boast of quality services and high development technology. However, TRAI has recently issued a consultation paper to ensure quality service to subscribers residing in non-CAS areas as well as those subscribing to DTH services. As per TRAI, there are 78 million consumers receiving cable TV services in non-CAS areas, being served by about 60,000 cable operators.

The issues raised for DTH quality of services pertain to dropping of channels by the service providers, maintenance and visiting charges and protection to the subscribers regarding their tariff plans.

The cable industry, on the other hand, see this as a move in the right direction as it would allow them to give a tougher competition to the DTH players and help retain their subscribers.

While DishTV claims to have 53 per cent of the market share of the total DTH subscribers, Big TV aims to capture 40 per cent of DTH market by 2011. The DTH space in India is expected to grow to to 40 million subscribers by 2015.

Sun Direct services are currently available in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and the NCR. The services will be available in rest of the states from December 8. Sun Direct claims to have currently attained a subscriber base of 1.9 million.

Also read:

Sun Direct launches DTH service in Delhi and NCR

Sun Direct appoints Mindshare Chennai as its media AoR

McCann Erickson clinches Rs 120-crore Sun Direct business

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