Posts Tagged ‘Sun direct’

Sun Direct looks to woo football fans with free 2010 FIFA World Cup broadcast

June 8, 2010

Direct-To-Home service provider, Sun Direct Pvt Ltd is�geared to bring on more subscribers to its service with the roll out of an irresistible offer. The DTH Company is offering a free broadcast of the FIFA World Cup 2010 in ESPN and Star Sports for all its new subscribers.

One of the biggest sporting events 2010 FIFA World Cup, which attracts eyeballs from across the globe, is just around the corner. Lovers of the game are on a raging spree to cheer for their teams.

To keep pace with the rising gusto, Sun Direct is all set to bring a smile among the football enthusiasts, with the launch of free subscription of ESPN and Star Sports this football season.

The new subscribers of Sun Direct can view the FIFA World Cup 2010 on ESPN and Star Sports free of cost. These subscribers can avail this irresistible offer from June 5th to July 12th, 2010.

Not leaving behind the existing subscribers of the DTH service, the existing subscribers of Sun Direct can also watch FIFA world Cup by subscribing at a special price of Rs. 40 + Taxes.

On this occasion, Mr. Tony D’Silva, CEO of Sun Direct says, “As market leaders we constantly challenge ourselves to live up to the expectations of our subscribers. With the launch of the FIFA World Cup offer, we would like to be in the midst of all the action and add fire to the gaining momentum among the football fans. The sports season is sure to create an adrenaline rush among the football fans.”

Sun Direct adds Sahara channels; offers free top up pack

July 1, 2009

Sun Direct, the direct-to-home (DTH) service provider, has added two Hindi channels to its bouquet from the Sahara basket – Sahara One and Sahara Filmy.

The DTH service provider has also rolled out a new option of including one free top up pack with the basic packs – Shine Pack (North, Bengali and Oriya).

As part of the initiative, a customer can choose any one of the top up packs – Marathi top up (ETV Marathi and Zee Marathi), Gujarati top up (ETV Gujarati) and Hindi Movie (Zee Cinema) along with their basic packs at no extra cost.

The two new channels and the free top up packs will be available across the Sun Direct platform from 1 July.

Sun Direct to pump in Rs3,000 cr over 3 years

November 4, 2008

The direct-to-home (DTH) television service promoted by Chennai-based Sun TV Network Ltd founder Kalanidhi Maran, Sun Direct TV Pvt. Ltd will invest at least Rs3,000 crore over three years beginning fiscal 2010 as part of an ambitious expansion drive, a senior company official said.

The investment is part of a target to add 2 million subscribers annually over that period; Sun Direct currently has more than 1.5 million subscribers, with a 3 million target for the current fiscal.
“We have estimated our investments to be in the range of around Rs1,000 crore per year but it would depend on the economic conditions” such as import costs, said Tony D’Silva, chief operating officer of Sun Direct.
The rupee has fallen by a fifth against the dollar this year, making imports more expensive. Sun Direct imports most of its requirements, such as set-top boxes required for DTH service installations. “So, these factors would play an important role in determining our investment plans,” D’Silva added.
Sun Direct, which launched in December 2007, is an 80:20 joint venture between the Kalanidhi Maran family and Astro Group of Malaysia, and was only the third company to enter the segment after Tata Sky Ltd, an 80:20 joint venture between the Tata Group and Star Group, and Dish TV India Ltd, an Essel Group company.
The firm hopes to break even in about five-and-a-half years, D’Silva said. This year, it is spending around Rs150 crore on marketing and branding.
Reliance Big TV, part of the Reliance-Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, and Airtel Digital TV, launched by Bharti Airtel Ltd, the country’s largest mobile phone service firm by subscriber base, have also launched DTH services.
At the end of fiscal 2008, the gross subscriber base of Dish TV was 3 million, while Tata Sky had around 2 million subscribers as of May 2008. Big TV in October announced that it had acquired 500,000 subscribers since its launch two months ago. Airtel entered the DTH market only about a month ago.
Direct DD Plus, a free-to-air DTH service launched in 2004 by public broadcaster Prasar Bharti, has an estimated subscriber base of about 6 million, said a Prasar Bharti official who didn’t want to be named. The figure is based on the sale of set-top boxes and no survey has been done, this official said.
Sun Direct launched its service at a much lower monthly fee, which is still low at Rs75, forcing Dish TV and Tata Sky to revise their own prices.

Sun Direct to invest Rs 150 cr, forays into Gujarat

September 29, 2008

The Chennai-based DTH service provider Sun Direct plans to invest nearly Rs 150 crore and reach out to 30 lakh subscribers by the end of this financial year, its Chief Operating Operator (COO), Mr Tony D’Silva, said. The investment would be utilised for the dish and set-top boxes which are provided free to the subscribers.

The company announced the launch of its service in Gujarat on Thursday. “One of the reasons for choosing Gujarat as the first launch pad outside of South India was the Gujaratis’ strong affinity for their language and rich culture.” Here, it is targeting the 40 lakh household TV owners having neither cable nor any DTH connection. Another 63 lakh TV owners have these connections, he said.

From its launch in December 2007, Sun Direct has reached 14 lakh subscribers in the four southern States. It also plans to launch high-definition TV channels in the next few months and foray into the North Eastern States, Orissa, Maharashtra, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and West Bengal. The other phase of expansion would target Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and the rest of the Hindi-speaking belt.

Sun Direct expects to complete its all-India expansion plan within the next 45 days, he added.

Sun Direct is an 80:20 joint venture between the Maran Family and the Astro Group of Malaysia.

TANCUS launches Cable Art Television against Sun Direct

September 17, 2008

A new war is on between the Cable TV operators and the direct-to-home (DTH) service providers, especially Sun Direct.

In what seems to be a new dimension to the cable wars, subsequent to Sun Direct launching a Tamil comedy channel called Comedy Thirai on September 08, 2008, Tamil Nadu Cable TV Urimaiyalargal Sangam (TANCUS) launched Cable Art Television (CAT), a cable channel for the viewers on September 09, which has been airing a campaign against Sun TV’s DTH service from the past one year.

CAT is a Chennai based interactive channel offering film songs and comedy scenes on request, details on power cuts and traffic jams and other viewer-friendly information. What is intriguing is the channel’s campaign on the demerits of DTH service.

“Even an advanced nation like the US prefers cable TV services to DTH services as the latter is a failure model. Nearly 20 per cent TV homes in the US converted to DTH service. The number has now dropped to 6 per cent. DTH service does not address the problems faced by the consumers,” an print media advertisement of CAT reads.

However, Sun DTH poohpoohs the campaign as baseless gossip. “Cable services are not directed at the individual customers, and are delivered for a cluster of homes. Clarity of the broadcast is lost due to transmission losses in cable TV services. DTH enables digital quality transmission, and is as good as what the channels broadcast. We are offering customers a new choice, a choice of quality and clarity in receiving signals.” explains an official associated with Sun Direct.

Kayal Ilavarasu, president, TANCUS, who runs CAT, is bent on spreading the campaign against DTH across the state. “DTH service is trying to destroy the livelihoods of two and half lakh cable TV operators in the state. They will not succeed in this effort. We are just creating awareness among the public about the disadvantages of DTH like signal loss during cloudy weather. The campaign will be aired in 900 local cable channels across Tamil Nadu,” said Ilavarasu.

Sun Direct TV predicts 2 million mark in 365 days

July 20, 2008

Sun Direct TV, the direct-to-home (DTH) service from Sun TV Network, which has crossed one million subscribers in 200 days, predicts to double its subscriber base to two million subscribers, by the time the company celebrates its first anniversary.

The subscribers of Sun Direct TV are currently spread across Tamil Nadu in a 60:40 rural urban ratio, and in the coming days the company will be spreading its wings across the country, through an effective technology and pricing strategy.

On the technology front, Sun Direct uses the MPEG4 technology, which means that the company is able to compress close to 22 channels in a transponder, whereas with MPEG2 (Dish TV and Tata Sky use this) only 12 channels can be compressed.

On the pricing issue, under the basic package, Sun offers 100 channels, a dish, box and an year’s subscription at Rs 1,999 (inclusive of Rs 1,000 as installation charges). The company proposes to further drill down its rates to augment more and more subscribers.

When asked about the cost effectiveness of the new technology and its benefit to viewers, Ilan Kumaran, senior manager, corporate marketing, Sun Direct TV, said, “MPEG4 is better than MPEG 2 because the transponder capacity will be reduced to 50% if we use MPEG 4 since it carries double the amount of channels than MPEG 2.”

Sun Direct is also the only DTH platform to provide HDTV in India. A lot of English channels use high definition (HD) format and Hindi and regional movies are now being broadcast through this technology.

“Apart from the Southern markets, we plan to enter other states in the North as their is an huge market for regional channels there. Presently, we are also in talks with NGC, Fox and others for HDTV content, and are sure to reach the two million mark in 365 days.” said Kumaran.

UTV’s 5 channels hop on Sun Direct DTH

February 22, 2008

: UTV Global Broadcasting Limited (UGBL), the broadcast arm of UTV Software Communications Ltd, has announced an agreement with Sun Direct Private Limited for its DTH platform. With this, all five channels from the UGBL bouquet would be available on the latter’s DTH platform Sun Direct with immediate effect.The bouquet comprises youth channels Bindass and Bindass Movies, World Movies – India’s first and only international movie channel, UTV Movies – a mainstream Hindi movie channel and the soon to be launched UTV News – the English business news channel from UGBL.

While Bindass and Bindass Movies offer entertainment and movie content for the youth, World Movies launched in February 2008 brings to the viewers a movie experience beyond conventional offerings showcasing blockbuster movies in French, Spanish, Polish, Romanian, Dutch, Russian, Thai, Japanese, Korean, German, Persian, Italian to name a few. The movies are sub-titled in English.

UTV Movies, the Hindi movie channel is set to launch later this month with over 300 movie titles in its library. The channel will showcase blockbuster movies from the UTV group, as one of Asia’s biggest film studios. UTV has created movie benchmarks across the world with titles like Jodhaa Akbar, Rang De Basanti, The Namesake, Life in a …Metro and many more. UTV’s English Business News channel is set to launch in March 2008.

Speaking on the alliance, UGBL executive director Shantonu Aditya said, “We are indeed proud to associate with India’s leading DTH platform. The Sun Direct DTH platform has been creating waves in this space and is setting new standards of alternate distribution vehicles to the Indian consumer.”

Sun Direct TV chief operating officer Tony Dsilva added, “UTV is known to produce excellent content, offering their channels on our platform will increase consumer choice and satisfaction.”

OpenTV Announces Deal with Sun Direct TV in India

November 25, 2007

New Indian Direct-to-Home Satellite Pay-TV Network to Launch MPEG-4 Platform Using OpenTV Solutions


OpenTV Corp. , a leading provider of solutions for the delivery of advanced digital television and cross platform interactive services, announced today that Sun Direct TV has selected OpenTV to provide the end-to-end solution and deployment management enabling its digital television services. In addition, OpenTV will provide Sun Direct TV with a collection of applications that includes a new electronic program guide (EPG), interactive cricket, and multi-angle interactive news.

“The Indian market, in which OpenTV gained its first foothold in 2006, represents a tremendous growth opportunity for us and serves to reinforce our strong market position in Asia Pacific and around the world,” said Ben Bennett, OpenTV’s Chief Operating Officer. “We’re extremely gratified to have been selected by Sun Direct TV, a company that likewise strives for leadership and innovation.”

Sun Direct TV will introduce a new Digital Direct-to-Home (DTH) pay TV network in India and expects to use programming from multiple broadcasters to provide a nationwide service with an emphasis on Southern India. Sun Direct TV will use the latest MPEG-4 based technology to increase broadcast capacity. Its selection of OpenTV as provider of its advanced digital television solution confirms OpenTV’s ability to provide next-generation services in fast-growing and emerging markets quickly and efficiently. Sun Direct TV’s launch will be supported by Irdeto’s conditional access solution.

According to an April 2007 report issued by Media Partners Asia Ltd, India is set to become the top pay television market in Asia Pacific by 2015, with pay TV penetration forecast to grow from 61% of television homes in 2006 to 84% in 2011, then to 90% by 2015. According to the report, DTH homes are estimated to reach 38 million by 2015, up from 2.6 million in 2006.