Key India pay-TV channels going FTA
September 9, 2021
By Chris Forrester
Doordarshan Direct (DD) offers Indian viewers free-to-view channels on its DD FreeDish. Some 20 channels, previously available on India’s various pay-TV platforms, are also broadcasting on DD FreeDish.
Harit Nagpal, MD & CEO at Tata Sky, says there are 20 channels that are still part of the pay bouquets of the pay-TV operators.
TataSky, Airtel Digital TV and other pay-TV operators have complained officially to India’s media regulator TRAI complaining about the changes. The problem for the pay-TV broadcasters is that the channels which have tapped into DD FreeDish are using a loophole in India’s broadcast regulations which are designed to supervise access to channels by the country’s DTH and cable operators.
The temptation for channels that were perhaps struggling with very modest payments from the pay-TV sector (generally between one and five Rupees per subscriber depending on perceived appeal) is that they can gain more viewers from DD FreeDish which enjoys some 40 million subscribing homes.
DD FreeDish now offers more than 150 channels.