Now even in God's own country, viewers will have to pay to watch their favourite channels. As part of its bigger plans, the south India-based television broadcaster, Sun Network has recently announced that two of its free-to-air Malayalam channels will be converted to paid channels.
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The two channels, as a bouquet, will be priced at Rs 20.33 per subscriber per month in non-CAS areas; while in CAS areas, the price would be Rs 5.35 per channel per month.
Currently, 14-15 per cent of the overall revenue of Sun Network comes from paid channels.
"Initially, some resistance will be there; but at the end of the day, those who want to watch a channel will be willing to pay for it. So, as we go ahead with our plans, we will take the necessary measures," says the executive.
Beginning this year, the company has also hiked the advertisement rates for its Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada channels. The increase in advertisement rates for Surya TV is up to 5 per cent, applicable on select programmes. The broadcaster is eyeing an annual revenue growth of 15-20 per cent with the ad rate hikes.
Sun TV first said that its flagship channels would become pay channels in November 2006. Since then, the broadcaster has been bringing all its channels under the paid model. Currently, of its 20 channels, only about three or four are free-to-air.
Sun TV Network is one of the largest television broadcasters in India, operating 20 satellite television channels across four languages -- Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam.