Reports are coming in that Zee Turner & Star Den are planning a distribution joint venture to distribute their respective channels in India. This means that the new company will be able to distribute a combined bouquet of their channels in India. Currently, Star backs TataSky & Zee backs (duh) DishTV resulting in one’s exclusive channels not being available to the rival DTH operator. This is a loss for subscribers as they are unable to enjoy all the channels on their DTH boxes. For instance, Star’s AsliHD channels are currently only available to TataSky subscribers & Zee’s HD channels are available to DishTV subscribers.
A join venture will put an end to such competition as there will be just one company distributing all the channels. It will surely bring more options for consumers as they will have much more channels to choose from. On the other hand, this might also result in a monopoly and subsequent increase in subscription prices. Currently, Star charges INR 134.4 per subscriber per month for offering its AsliHD channels from DTH companies. However, TataSky charges only INR 50 to its subscribers. Although INR 134.4 is the published rate and we do not know what TataSky is actually paying to Star, I believe that TataSky is willing to bear some costs now as it wants to reap the long term benefits of having more HD subscribers in future. HD channels are much better than their SD counterparts, and if they are able to convince more subscribers to pay a premium for them, it is going to fill their pockets in the long term.
Nonetheless, lets hope that this turns out a good news for the subscribers and we get to see more HD content in the coming future.
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