Indian direct-to-home (DTH) operators Sun Direct and Reliance Big TV
Indian direct-to-home (DTH) operators Sun Direct and Reliance Big TV are sharing capacity on Measat 3 in a move which could help overcome bandwidth constraints and cut their broadcasting costs.
Tony D’Silva, Sun Direct’s CEO told The Hindu’s daily publication: We have been sharing transponders for the past one and a half months and almost 60 channels, including the free to air [ones] are jointly beamed.
No further details of the unlikely partnership have been divulged, although Sanjay Behl, CEO of Reliance Big TV confirmed there was an arrangement with its competitor which was currently being evaluated.
Following reported power problems with six of the seven transponders it rented on Insat-4B, Sun Direct has only recently moved over to Measat 3, located at its orbital slot of 91.5 degrees east.
Both companies launched their MPEG 4 based broadcast platforms in mid-2008; Sun Direct now claims a subscriber base of 5.8 million, while Reliance Big TV has about 2.5 customers.
As of July 2010, there were a total of 23.5 million DTH subscribers in India, spread across the seven DTH operators – up from13 million on the previous year.
India is widely tipped to outstrip the US in terms of DTH subscriber figures come the year end.
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