October has been mixed for television lovers, we got some good news like the introduction of the lowest NCF in the DTH industry by Sun Direct which may push competitors to offer better deals, and some bad news like the withdrawal of 3 years warranty scheme on new connections by Tata Sky.
Last month, one more channel shuttered, the Hindi Music channel Zee ETC Bollywood which was available on 4 DTH operators is now discontinued by the broadcaster. The channel is replaced by Zee Vajwa, a Marathi music channel that is already added by 3 DPOs.
Tata Sky added 3 channels – Vidya, Nipuna, and Zee Vajwa while 5 channels have been dropped including Zee ETC Bollywood, AM News, 99 Percent, Sahara Samay MP/CG, and Win TV. The company also discontinued 36 of its curated packs from 16th October.
In February 2019, Tata Sky started offering a 3 years warranty on all new connections, but now after about 20 months this policy has been withdrawn and new users will only get 1 year of warranty. This IPL season, the operator provided free of cost Disney+ Hotstar VIP 1 year subscription to some select customers.
Airtel Digital TV
Compared to others, ADTV has added the highest number of channels in October. It has added 4 satellite channels- Music Zone, MK News, Bansal News, Gubbare TV along with 2 platform service channels Akash EduTV – JEE and Akash EduTV – NEET.
Channels removed from ADTV include Zee ETC Bollywood, Khushi TV and Living Foodz HD. Airtel has reduced the price for its hybrid set-top box Airtel Xstream. The cost of Xstream Basic is decreased to Rs 2,499 from Rs 3,600 while Xstream Premium’s price is slashed from Rs 5,999 to Rs 4,898.
Dish TV & d2h
Dish TV added 3 channels – DD India HD, Zee Vajwa, and Zee News (it was earlier available through DD Free Dish transponder but now added on Dish TV’s transponder).
A total of 16 channels discontinued on Dish TV or its transponder (SES-8) including Zee ETC Bollywood, Star Maa HD, Asianet HD, Udaya Comedy, KTV, NTV, Songdew, Zee Vajwa, DD National HD, DD News HD, Gemini Movies, Khushi TV, Goodness TV, Public TV, Maa Music, and Surya Movies.
The removals are in line with Dish TV’s decision to change South base to ST-2 satellite. Those Dish TV customers realigned to ST-2 will continue getting the channels which are still available on ST-2.
d2h was pretty much dormant with addition of just 1 channel Zee Vajwa and removal of Zee ETC Bollywood. It introduced Box Service Plan at Rs. 99 per year allowing users to extend the warranty of their set-top boxes.
Sun Direct added 2 channels namely Vidya TV and Nipuna TV. The biggest news of last month was that they brought the lowest Network Capacity Fee (NCF) in the DTH market. Sun Direct now has flat Rs 59 NCF for primary connections and Rs 23.6 for secondary connections irrespective of choosing less or more than 200 SD channels.
DD Free Dish
The Free-to-air satellite television provider has added India News (on MPEG-2) and DD India HD. Talking about channels discontinued, DDFD users can’t access India News (on MPEG-4), India News Rajasthan, Live Today and DD News HD.