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Siti Cable and Star’s RIO deal
MUMBAI: Siti Cable is planning to increase the package price of the television channels it offers to its cable TV subscribers by Rs 30–40 on average even as its content cost on account of Star India’s RIO (reference interconnect offer) policy is expected to go up by around 50 per cent.
MSOs calculate their content cost net of carriage fees. In case of RIO deals, they do not get paid carriage fees by the broadcasters.
Siti Cable will offer all the Star channels at a price to the consumer. If this gets implemented and the incremental cost is passed on to the consumer, it will be a profitable business model for the MSO. The local cable operators (LCO) will also be given a margin.
Siti has decided to take seven Star India channels in the base pack. These include Star Plus, Life OK, Movies OK, Star Gold, Channel V and NGC. The MSO will add regional-language channels, depending on the market that is being addressed.
The second-tier pack will have two Star Sports channels, while the third pay pack will have the English-language channels.
Meanwhile, Siti Cable is targeting acquisition of 100,000 direct points from the local cable operators (LCOs) in Delhi by the end of the year. The MSO has already added close to 25,000 direct points in the last three-month period.
Compared to other leading MSOs who have got some direct points, Siti Cable has been out of focus in this area. But the MSO has initiated the process initially in the national capital region (NCR).
Siti Cable believes in acquiring direct points wherever it is in leadership position, consumer ARPU is better, LCO collections are higher and it has better management control in the geographies. Once direct control is established, there will be more flexibility in terms of changing the packages.
The MSO has launched broadband using Cisco’s Docsis 2 and Docsis 3 technology in Delhi and the NCR. It is upgrading 600,000 plus subscribers using the cable TV, which it believes will take two to three quarters.
Siti Cable currently offers 100 Mbps speed, with consumer packages starting from Rs 599 and going up to Rs 3,489.
The plan is to take broadband to the cities where the MSO has over 50,000 subscriber base. The markets identified are Jaipur, Indore, Bhopal, Jabalpur and Bangalore.
Siti Cable starts acquisition of direct points, Q2 EBITDA at Rs 45.8 cr
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