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Reliance Jio ups its TV channel offering to 368
MUMBAI: Mukesh Ambani-controlled Reliance Jio’s over-the-top (OTT) service Jio TV has increased its total TV channel offering to 368, enabling it to match that of cable TV and direct-to-home (DTH) operators.
The channels are spread across 10+ genres and 15+ languages. When Reliance Jio launched on 5 September 2016, it was offering 300 TV channels.
Jio Play has 112 news channels, 90 entertainment channels, 32 movie channels, 31 music channels, 23 infotainment channels, 23 kids channels, 21 devotional channels, 18 sports channels, 11 lifestyle channels and 7 business news channels.
Reliance Jio , which has shaken up the telecom industry in India with its offer of free voice calls and mobile internet pricing at a fifth of current rates, has secured content deals with major broadcasters like Star India, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL), Sun TV Network, Sony Pictures Networks India, NDTV, TV Today Network, Raj TV, PTC Network, Turner India, and Discovery Communications India. TV18, Viacom18, and Eenadu Television are, of course, part of Ambani’s media business.
Jio TV is the only OTT service that offers virtually all the major channels in India. Even ZEEL’s OTT service dittoTV does not have channels from rival broadcasters like Star India and Sun TV Network. Star India, as a principle, has not been providing its content to any third-party OTT service. IndiaCast Media, TV18 and Viacom18’s distribution arm, and Sony Pictures Networks are the only broadcasters that are providing their content to other OTT players despite having their own platforms. Even ZEEL has been choosy about providing its channels to other OTT platforms.
The Jio TV app is accessible only to Reliance Jio users. It allows users to watch their favourite channels anytime and anywhere. It also allows users to pause and play live TV channels from the point they left off. Jio TV allows users to enjoy missed episodes of prime shows, telecast in the past seven days.
Users can also do quick content discovery using seven (past / future) days TV guide, language and genre filters, or channel / programme-based search.
The multilingual user interface in 10 languages allows users to explore the app in English, Hindi and other regional languages.
It also provides personalised TV viewing experience as users can mark channel / programmes as favourites and plan TV viewing by setting a reminder on upcoming programmes. Jio TV also provides share feature on social networks.
The Jio Apps bouquet includes the JioPlay, which offers live TV channels. Setting the tone for how things are going to evolve, the Jio Apps bouquet is currently being made available complimentary for all active Jio customers until 31 December 2017.
The 4G operator has also renamed its Jio on Demand as Jio Cinema. The on-demand video library app has over 1 lakh+ hours of content comprising movies, TV shows, music videos, Jio shorts, and trailers.
Jio Cinema offers a vast library of movies across genres like romance, animation, action, comedy, thriller, drama, documentaries, biographies, history, and mystery. The film library includes releases as latest as 2016 to old classic films from the ‘60s and the ‘70s.
The service also boasts a wide array of latest TV shows from leading broadcasters like Viacom18 and Sony. It also has archived TV shows of Sony and Colors. Besides movies and TV shows, the app also has thousands of music videos in Hindi, English and regional languages besides short trailers of latest movies.
There is also a music app, Jio Music, earlier called Jio Beats, featuring millions of HD songs spanning 20 Indian languages and international music. It offers seamless connection to wireless devices, wearable devices and Bluetooth speakers, as well as one-touch radio with ad-free content curated by experts.
Jio Xpress News is a news and magazine aggregation app giving users access to hundreds of sources including news publications, magazines, famous blogs and websites of renowned thinkers and journalists from both India and across the world.
Jio Mags has a vast library of 5,000+ magazine issues across 15+ categories and 10 languages. The app will have life-like reading and personalised annotations. It allows synchronisation across devices.
Reliance Jio had launched its services on 5 September. The services, voice as well as data, are free for users until 31 December. After that, the Jio tariff will come into force. However, users will only have to pay for data while voice will remain free for all customers.
The pre-paid tariff has 10 plans ranging from Rs 19 to Rs 4,999. The postpaid tariff has seven plans. The cheapest plan is priced Rs 149 while the highest is priced similar to pre-paid at Rs 4,999.
Meanwhile, telecom biggies like Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular have told the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) that they were willing to provide Reliance Jio a “reasonable number” of additional points of interconnections (PoIs). There has been no specification on the number of PoIs that would be given. Jio has said that the incumbent telcos haven’t provided adequate PoIs (used to connect calls from one telecom operator to another), which has resulted in its consumers facing huge call drops.