Matrimonial portals extend their reach through TV

By Kapil Ohri , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | July 24, 2008 and have started offering their matrimonial search and contact services on Tata Sky and Dish TV, respectively

After offering

their services through mobile phones, print and offline stores, matrimonial portals are now expanding their reach through TV. has tied up with Tata Sky, the Tata Group's DTH venture, and the STAR Network to launch an interactive service called Active Matrimony on Tata Sky while has tied up with Dish TV, which is owned by Zee Network, to create a channel called Shaadi Active, which will be launched soon.

The Active Matrimony service will be available to 2.3 million Tata Sky subscribers for free. It allows viewers to search for and display the profiles of Bharatmatrimony members on the TV screen. Only the profiles of premium members who opt for the service will be displayed and the profiles will be updated every week.

In terms of interactivity, the Active Matrimony service enables a TV viewer to contact a Bharatmatrimony member. A code is displayed along with the profile of the member and the TV viewer has to SMS the code to 56633. The viewer will then receive a phone number for the requested profile. Tata Sky will charge Rs 10 for each phone number request. A viewer cannot ask for more than three phone numbers in a day.

Murugavel Janakiraman
Speaking to afaqs!, Murugavel Janakiraman, founder and chief executive officer,, says, "We continuously look for innovative ways to expand our reach. A mobile application of our matrimonial services comes pre-loaded on GPRS enabled Nokia mobile phones. We have set up offline stores and also publish Desi Matches, a matrimonial magazine meant for South Asians in the US."

Janakiraman adds, "We had tied up with Tata Sky a year ago and conducted a consumer research study to find out how Tata Sky can be used effectively by viewers to search for partners."

The Bharatmatrimony Group also has portals in other segments such as jobs ( and real estate ( When asked whether these services would also be extended to the DTH platform, Janakiraman says the current initiative will help the company gauge whether such services work on the DTH platform and, based on this evaluation, it will decide whether to offer the other services.

The Shaadi Active channel is also free and will enable 3.5 million Dish TV viewers to search for and view profiles of members who have opted for the service. The profiles will be updated daily. Dish TV viewers can also contact members by paying a nominal fee.

Vibhas Mehta
In an e-mail response to afaqs!, Vibhas Mehta, business head,, says, "The objective behind launching a channel on Dish TV is to extend our matchmaking services to a larger audience. In 2004, we launched our offline stores, the centres, and now we are making our services available on DTH as well. It's our way of expanding the number of media on which we are present."

Mehta does not disclose any plans to launch the services of other portals such as, a real estate portal, on the DTH platform.

Hitesh Oberoi, chief operating officer, Info Edge (India) Ltd, the company that owns matrimonial portal, says, "We are exploring the DTH option, but we have not decided anything about it yet." claims that around 10 million members are registered with it. claims a subscriber base of more than 12 million.

© 2008 afaqs!