Sun Direct bolsters its channel line-up with 9 HD, 28 SD channels
MUMBAI: Direct to home (DTH) operator Sun Direct has now added 37 new channels including nine high-definition (HD) and 28 standard-definition (SD) channels to its portfolio. The latest additions take the total number of SD channels to 239 and HD channels to 67.
The nine HD channels that have been added include Discovery Jeet HD, Cineplex HD, MTV Beats HD, Zee Telugu HD, Zee Cinemalu HD, Colors Bangla HD, Fox Life HD, Disney International HD and D Sport HD.
Among the HD channels, four are English, Hindi (2), Telugu (2), Bengali (1) and Hindi/English hybrid (1).
The SD channels added by the DTH platform include Sathyam TV, Imayam TV, Madha TV, Vijay Super, Nambikkai TV, Super TV, Travel XP Tamil, Aradana TV, HM TV, ETV Life, Safari TV, Power Vision, Naaptol Malayalam, Naaptol Kannada, Dighvijay TV, Rishtey, Sony Pal, Discovery Jeet, Sony Mix, 9X Jalwa, D Sport, Fox Life, Discovery Turbo, Discovery Science, TLC, Jalsha Movies, PTC Punjabi and PTC News.
Out of the 28 SD channels, seven are Tamil, English (5), Hindi (4), Telugu (3), Malayalam (3), Kannada (2), Punjabi (2), and Bengali (1).
TelevisionPost had earlier reported that the DTH operator has added eight SD channels namely Super TV, Travel XP Tamil, Sony Pal, Naaptol Kannada, Naaptol Malayalam, 9X Jalwa, Aradana TV and Nambikkai TV.
In addition to these new channels, the operator is also offering every active subscriber an access to four exclusive channels under the category of cinema club that provide round-the-clock entertainment and also an access to two exclusive channels which are not available with any other DTH service provider.
Sun Direct, which has a subscriber base of more than 12 million, had recently deployed Harmonic’s software-based HEVC media processing solution within its all-IP workflow in order to expand its HD service offering.
Harmonic’s Electra X2 encoder and ProStream multiplexer enable Sun Direct to deliver an additional 80 HD channels from four transponders to subscribers, with crystal-clear video quality at the lowest possible bitrates.
The DTH operator has also been ramping up its HD channel offering and currently offers 59 HD channels.
For fiscal 2017, on a provisional basis, Sun Direct’s net profit was Rs 32 crore on sales of Rs 1,207 crore. In fiscal 2016, the net loss was Rs 35 crore on sales of Rs 1,112 crore.
Sun Direct currently uses 4 transponders from ‘GSAT 15’ and 4 transponders from ‘MEASAT 3’. Out of the 8 transponders, 3 transponders from ‘GSAT 15’ were added during FY17. With the addition of the transponders, the company has been able to increase the number of HD channels offered to over 55 from about 15 channels earlier.
The ability of the company to leverage on the same and attract additional subscribers, retain its existing customers thereby improving its net subscriber base as well as improve its ARPU would be critical to its prospects.
Kavery Kalanithi Maran, the wife of Kalanithi Maran (the promoter of Sun TV Network), holds 62% equity in Sun Direct, and Kalanithi Maran holds 18%. The remaining 20% is held by South Asia Entertainment Holdings, Mauritius, an investment arm of All Asia Networks, Malaysia’s leading cross-media group.