Exclusive content will drive growth for DTH: Vikram Kaushik

By , agencyfaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | August 09, 2007
Currently, the government doesn't allow contracts between the broadcaster and distributor for exclusive content

Consumers & #BANNER1 & # frequently crib about the services rendered by the local cable operator, but the shift from cable to the DTH platform is not in sync with this level of dissatisfaction.

Vikram Kaushik, MD & CEO, Tata Sky, in an exclusive chat with agencyfaqs!, says that the DTH platform will grow further when it provides exclusivity of content. He was celebrating one million subscribers in 365 days.

Vikram Kaushik
Kaushik would like to see exclusive content form 15-20 per cent of the offering on DTH, but the government doesn't currently allow contracts between the broadcaster and distributor for exclusive content.

"We can't tell our customers that if you buy our services, we will provide you with this exclusive content," he says.

He feels that deregularisation will smooth the road for his company. Tata Sky, which is a joint venture between the Tata Group and STAR, will be the biggest beneficiary if the non-exclusivity rider is done away with.

But won't doing away with the clause hamper the free entry of new players? "Regularisation is used as an antidote to monopoly. But the market already has three strong players and two others are lining up for entry. So, I don't think, in that respect, the nature of market will change with deregularisation," says Kaushik.

Another worry is that as a result of deregularisation, all content won't be available on any single platform. What if somebody wants to access all the content on TV? Would he need to buy three different STBs for that? "Not really - in telecom you don't buy three SIM cards to get all the features. It'll be about choice then," asserts Kaushik.

Kaushik believes that the biggest reason for Tata Sky's growth is continuous innovation and customer satisfaction. "The way our distribution network has spread from 300 towns to 4,500 towns across the country in the past year has led to customer satisfaction. It has also to do with our aggressive advertising, which has resulted in brand awareness increasing from 45 per cent to 87 per cent," he reveals.

For data freaks, the company reached the one million mark in 12 months; Dish TV did it in 20. Tata Sky has set a target of 50 per cent of the total pie by 2012, that is, eight million out of the total subscriber base of 15 million expected by that year on the basis of studies.

The company is optimistic about the future because of the overwhelming response it got in the first year of its operations. But it won't be betting the future on the basis of its past performance, especially when players like Reliance and Airtel are warming up for battle. "True! The future will only get tougher with more competition, and our target has taken all that into account," says Kaushik.

Tata Sky isn't taking the competition lightly and plans to spread its reach to villages where cable hasn't reached yet.

To celebrate one million subscriptions, the company has come out with a new set of TVCs featuring Paresh Rawal, Kirron Kher and Boman Irani in three different commercials, reading out customers' letters on their Tata Sky experience.