Tata Sky to go regional with Tata Sky Theatre

Powered by Zee, Tata Sky Theatre is now looking to go regional after screening Hindi and English plays

e4m by Moumita Bhattacharjee
Updated: Mar 27, 2019 8:07 AM
Tata Sky Theatre

Tata Sky announced the launch of its theatre service, Tata Sky Theatre, powered by Zee Theatre, last year. It brought theatre to television with a monthly subscription of Rs 75. There are also behind-the-scenes footage, interviews and trivia apart from over 100 plays. It is the first ever ad-free service to air plays on television. Now the DTH provider is looking to get regional plays as a part of their offerings followed by short-format content.

Speaking to exchange4media, Pallavi Puri, Chief Commercial Officer, Tata Sky, revealed, "This is just the beginning. We are taking baby steps now. We are now looking at regional content." Shailja Kejriwal, Chief Creative Officer, Special Project, ZEEL, also added that they will be looking for short-format content one-act plays and more in the coming days.

Customers need to give a missed call on a number to get 10 days of free viewing, after which, they will have to subscribe to the channel at Rs 75. With the new TRAI order in place, this pricing seems to be on the higher side, especially since the new regime gives the power of choice to the consumers. Puri, however, doesn't think there's any impact on Tata Sky Theatre's consumer behaviour due to the same. "I don't see any relation between the TRAI order and the services. If you look at it, we launch one new play every week. So you get four new plays every month. Full family is watching, four new plays, plus other plays at Rs. 75. And we have seen no impact at all," Puri pointed out.

Explaining about the response the new channel received in the past couple of months, Puri revealed, "Among the 30 different services that we have, it's one of our fastest growing services. It is a service which is not available on any other kind of a platform. We have seen the popularity mostly in the West and North. They are majorly Hindi plays. Now with Zee, we are looking to see how can we get more regional audiences in as well."

Shailja Kejriwal revealed what got ZEEL interested in the whole proceedings. "From 2014 onwards, we were toying with this idea ki naya vertical kya banaya jaiTelevision to hai hi, movies bhi. So to have complete content, we can have theatres as well. That was one of the reasons. We also wanted to archive all of this. Theatre is such a thing that once you see it, it's gone. You can't see it again. Say, for example, I can't see plays by people who used to perform say 30 years ago and are no more. So we have archived it so that future generations can see it. Also the kind of content that theatre has, it is non-TRP related content. It is much bolder and deals with things that need to be talked about. Theatre is very brave in terms of storytelling and it is uncensored."

When asked if there will ever be a Live telecast of a play on the channel, Kejriwal hinted that it could be a possibility.

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