Den, Hathway join hands to sell set-top boxes

05 Jan,2012

By Meenakshi Verma Ambwani

 

Cable TV companies Den Networks and Hathway Cable & Datacom will launch a joint media campaign beginning with Delhi this weekend, informing consumers about the need to install set-top boxes by June 30 as mandated by the government.

 

The top two multi-system operators (MSOs) will also launch their set-top boxes at a promotional price of Rs 799, including installation charges and taxes, which is much lower than Rs 1,500-1,600 charged by the direct-to-home or DTH operators.

 

As per initial estimates, the two companies are expected to spend Rs 20 crore on the campaign. Households in New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata will have to buy set-top boxes before June 30 to watch television channels, as per the government’s plan to digitise the country’s cable TV network by 2014. Both houses of Parliament passed the Bill to this effect last month.

 

“Consumers need to start buying the set-top boxes to access digital signals and this is a joint effort by two like-minded companies to make the consumers aware about digitisation,” said Mr SN Sharma, CEO of DEN Networks. The company expects to install between 2 and 2.5 million set-top boxes in the four cities. “The initial goal will be to upgrade our existing subscribers in these cities to digital addressable system. Only if we have surplus boxes will we look to add new subscribers,” he said.

 

Hathway expects to deploy about 2 million set-top boxes in the four cities by the end of the first phase. The two companies are planning to rope in other MSOs for the campaign partly to share costs and fend off competition from DTH players. “This is an educational campaign and we think it’s best if all players come together to share costs and promote digitisation,” said Mr K Jayaraman, CEO, Hathway Cable & Datacom.

 

Source:The Economic Times

Copyright © 2012, Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All Rights Reserved

 

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