With the start of IPL people glued to their television screens in September. BARC India said that 269 million viewers watched IPL 2020’s opening week and there was a 15 percent growth in viewership compared to last year.
Growth in TV viewership means growth in subscriptions of cable and DTH operators. To minimize inconvenience in watching the IPL, DPOs took several steps in September ranging from bouquet modifications to offers.
Another major development was the launch of Zee Plex, the company’s cinema to home (C2H) service that will allow subscribers to access new movie releases on television and digital platforms. Zee has partnered with Tata Sky, Airtel Digital TV, and Dish d2h for this service.
Tata Sky has added 3 satellite channels – Enterr10, Kashish News, Network 10, and 1 platform service channel Zee Plex while Swaraj Express and Vanitha TV are dropped from its platform.
With the addition of Zee Plex, Tata Sky has removed its own service Showcase 2 and Showcase 2 HD which used to premier ad-free movies. Showcase 1 and Showcase 1 HD still exist on the platform for now but there is no confirmation whether it’s also going to be discontinued or not.
Many people add IPL channels on the day the match begins which puts load on Tata Sky and pack change requests sometimes don’t get processed in time. To prevent this from happening the company this time allowed customers to choose IPL broadcasting channels days before the match begins so that those channels could get automatically subscribed from 19th September.
The operator last month also slashed prices for its hybrid Android set-top box Binge+. The new Binge+ connection price is dropped from Rs 3,999 to Rs 2,999 while multi TV and upgrade cost is reduced from Rs 3,999 to Rs 2,499.
September also marked the beginning of mega LCN change 2020 of Tata Sky. So far the operator has changed channel numbers for English Entertainment, Marathi, Bengali, Tamil, and Kannada channels. Other genres LCN is also expected to be changed in upcoming weeks.
Airtel Digital TV
ADTV has added 6 satellite channels News First Kannada, Enterr10 Rangeela, Khabar Fast, TV 100, Dangal Kannada, and Studio One+ while 2 platform service channels Airtel Korean TV are also Zee Plex launched. 3 channels including India News UP/UK, India News Punjab, and India News MP/CG are removed from this platform.
Airtel Korean TV is powered by One Take Media and will show Korean Drama, popular Korean songs, and series dubbed in Hindi with English subtitles.
To ensure continued access to IPL matches, ADTV has swapped Star Sports 1 Bangla with Star Sports 1 Hindi in its Bengali packs as the IPL 2020 is not being broadcasted on Star Sports 1 Bangla.
Dish TV & d2h
Dish TV & d2h haven’t removed any channel in September. Both of these operators added 2 service channels Zee Plex and Girlfriend. Dish TV added 2 satellite channels- News First Kannada and Euro Sports HD while d2h added 3 satellite channels- News First Kannada, Euro Sports, and India News Haryana.
Sun Direct has added 3 channels namely Shraddha MH, STV Haryana, and News First Kannada. No channels are removed from Sun Direct too. Similar to ADTV, Sun Direct also replaced Star Sports 1 Bangla with Star Sports 1 Hindi in Bengali packs due to IPL.
DD Free Dish
Free-to-air satellite television provider DD Free Dish has added News India 24×7 and 12 e-Vidya channels. The e-Vidya are educational channels for students from class 1 to 12 so that they can learn from their homes.