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Dish TV’s Zing looks to eat into Sun Direct and analogue cable’s share in Tamil Nadu

MUMBAI: Zing, the sub-brand of direct-to-home operator (DTH) Dish TV’, has forayed into Tamil Nadu, a predominantly analogue market where cable TV digitisation is yet to be implemented in full force.

This will be the seventh market where Zing has forayed after West Bengal, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Odisha and Tripura.

In Tamil Nadu, Zing will have a direct face-off with Sun Group’s DTH brand Sun Direct. The analogue cable TV market is dominated by Tamil Nadu government-run Arasu Cable TV Corporation.

RC VenkateishAccording to Dish TV CEO RC Venkateish, for Zing Tamil Nadu is an ideal market that caters to regional markets through targeted offerings. Being an analogue market, Tamil Nadu presents an attractive proposition for Zing to convert analogue customers to digital.

“Tamil Nadu is a very aspirational market with a large analogue base. “It’s a market that shows linguistic consumption so it is ideally suited for a product like Zing,” said Venkateish.

With regard to competition with Sun Direct, Venkateish said that Zing’s offering is equally lucrative for customers if not better.

“Yes, Sun Direct is a strong player, but we have nothing to lose. They are the ones who have something to lose in that market. In terms of offering, we are giving as much as, if not more than, Sun Direct. Plus, we have the benefit of flexible packaging so we will give a good fight to Sun Direct,” averred Venkateish.

Zing has four packages for Tamil Nadu including Vanakkam, Vanakkam+ Tamil Brahmandam, Anandham, and Kondattam priced at Rs 99, 139, 220 and 350 (including taxes) respectively.

The Vanakkam pack will have 20 Tamil channels besides DD + South FTA channels. While for Vanakkam + Tamil Brahmandam subscribers will have to shell out Rs 40 to avail Tamil entertainment besides the channels offered in the base pack (Vanakkam). The Anandham pack will have Hindi + English Movies + Sports + Others channels. Kondattam, the highest pay pack, will have complete Hindi + English GEC + Lifestyle offering.

The Zing digital set-top box (STB) is available for Rs 1,099.

According to Venkateish, Tamil Nadu is an ideal market for DTH since cable TV operators have not been proactive in moving towards digitisation.

“Tamil Nadu is a high potential market for DTH because digitisation is happening only through DTH. There are no cable boxes being seeded so it is a good opportunity for DTH to go and take a big share of the market. In other markets we have to compete with both analogue and digital but in Tamil Nadu we only have to compete with analogue,” he stated further.

Venkateish also believes that Arasu is not in a position to compete with Zing since analogue has several limitations like bandwidth, quality and service.

“Analogue has its limitations in quality, number of channels and service. Our base pack starts at Rs 99 with 21 Tamil channels and that too with a digital experience. This will be an attractive proposition for customers who are getting analogue feed to switch to digital. So we believe there will be very good off-take for this product,” Venkateish added.