In an interesting take on the selection of ‘favourite channels’ on a STB, Tata Sky in India is offering subscribers a new set of options when they own several STBs.
Subscribers can stick with the same ‘mirror’ package of channels on each STB they own, or they can opt for a very different set of channels on every other STB within the home. It means that the bundle selected can more accurately reflect the likely viewing pattern on a particular box. The most obvious set of curated options are for kids, but teens might also be better served by their own choices as might documentary fans or non-stop music viewers.
The choices are not free. Currently Tata Sky, along with most of its DTH rivals, charge for the primary connection and then discount other boxes at the home. The new scheme allows for these secondary options to be priced at lower levels. The new system kicks in on June 15th.
But media regulator TRAI has now set a price limit on how channels are charged in an effort to lower subscriber’s monthly bills. By law all of India’s DTH broadcasters must charge a Network Capacity Fee, plus the carriage fees for content owners such as Star India or Sony Pictures, etc.
Those content fees are now extremely transparent for consumers, hence Tata Sky’s wish to offer viewers some savings on bundles. The broadcaster believes consumers will both love the new options and save money in the process. Observers think the move was also necessary for Tata Sky to stay competitive with its rivals.