ZEE-Turner, the distribution arm of ZEE Telefilms and Turner International, has announced the a la carte price for HBO. The Hollywood movie channel will be offered at Rs 25 per subscriber per month.
The price will be effective January 1, 2005, when ZEE-Turner starts distributing the channel. ZEE-Turner in India handles the distribution of 25 channels including ZEE TV, ZEE Cinema, ZEE News, ZEE English, Trendz, CNN International, POGO, Cartoon Network, as well as a number of regional channels.
Currently, HBO is distributed by One Alliance. Shantanu Aditya, president, One Alliance, said the current subscription rate for HBO is Rs 5.60. As on December 26, 2003 (as per TRAI guidelines), the One Alliance bouquet was priced at Rs 55. New channels such as MTV, Nick, Discovery Travel and Living, which were added to the bouquet after December 26, 2003, are priced separately. As per TRAI guidelines, any new channel added to the existing bouquet has to be priced separately.
Besides the current one, ZEE-Turner is planning to launch another bouquet of channels, which will include the likes of HBO and POGO (retail price of Rs 10). The distribution alliance is tight lipped about the other channels that will be included in the soon-to-be-launched package.
The new price seems on the higher side when compared with its current price besides the prices of other channels. The a la carte price for MTV and Nick is Rs 6 and that of Discovery Travel and Living and Animax is Rs 10 each (all these are distributed by One Alliance). Siddharth Jain, CEO, ZEE-Turner, maintains, "The channel has been priced competitively to enable our cable affiliates enhance the value of their offering."
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