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Dish TV plans to introduce differential pricing based on cities

MUMBAI: Dish TV, India’s leading direct-to-home (DTH) operator, is planning to introduce different subscription rates based on cities, much the way cable TV networks do.

The move, first by a DTH operator in India, will allow Dish TV to charge higher in the metros, leading to an expansion in its average revenue per user (ARPU).

Dish TV plans to introduce differential pricing first in the metros. What this means, for example, is that a customer in Delhi will pay more for the same pack than someone, say, in Agra.

02 rc venkatesh“We are planning to introduce differential pricing for metro markets to start with. We will offer a premium pack, above the family package. For those who subscribe to this, we will offer some additional facilities,” Dish TV chief executive officer RC Venkateish told TelevisionPost.com.

Dish TV’s new brand Zing, targeted at regional-language television consumers, has already initiated differential pricing. “When cable can have different pricing in different cities, there is no logic why we can’t. We have already done that with Zing. In Maharashtra, the pack price is Rs 189, while in Odisha it is Rs 175. We have proved that we can execute differential pricing,” Venkateish said.

Dish TV will use differential pricing as a strategy to increase ARPU, not to dilute it. “While we will keep the base price for Dish TV subscribers untouched at Rs 240 across the towns, we will target geographies where we can offer new packages at higher price points. After the metros, we will move to DAS Phase II cities,” Venkateish added.

The ARPU in Phases III and IV of digital addressable system (DAS) is low. Zing is expected to play a big role in these markets.

In a parallel move, Dish TV has increased its subscription rates from 1 February. “We have taken an increase of 5–8 per cent in subscription rates from 1 February, ahead of the cricket World Cup. While we are looking at introducing differential pricing, we are also moving the overall subscription table up,” Venkateish said.

Dish TV’s ARPU in the fiscal third quarter ended 31 December 2014 increased to Rs 177 from Rs 172 in the preceding quarter.