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SURE! Blog

Challenges plaguing Indian Pay TV Industry are Disguised Opportunities

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Sep, 2013


In India, the Television revolution that started in early 80s with a government-owned Doordarshan, experienced its first major boom in early 90s with the introduction of cable TV. For the first time, Indian audiences experienced 24-by-7 TV and more than one channel; besides the quality of content not possible with government produced content.

The next leg of the revolution hit when a few major players, some of them strongly present in Telecom, entered the Television Industry through satellite TV, providing a direct-to-home connectivity. This, along with the introduction of Digital Quality TV just over five years ago, has put the Indian TV industry agog with excitement and tremors of a major shakeup about to unleash.

The Digitization Drive of the government of India, starting with four Metro cities of New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkotta and Chennai is the tip of the iceberg. With over 150 million homes enjoying cable or satellite TV, and slated to grow to over 200 million in next few years, covering an estimated audience of over 800 million people – it is one of the largest platform expanse globally.

The government has valid concerns: tax realizations. The industry of content connectivity (cable and satellite TV) is taxed but since the last-mile connectivity is achieved by small, unorganized and local operators – with no billing or tax – the government wants to fix this problem using the Digital quality lure.

Once the metros are completed, more and more cities will have to go Digital, providing the connection to homes through set top boxes and getting all data wired through the Conditional Access System (CAS). The Digitization drive helps three stakeholders directly: governments gets taxes, content providing channels will have better accountability in terms of numbers (for paid channel revenues or advertisements), and the viewers will get better quality Television. This will incidentally also help electronic majors selling newer and more advanced TV sets in larger numbers.
The concerns of going digital, however, has been seen and perceived by PayTV industry as a challenge, when it is a hidden opportunity.

Today, market leaders in the Cable Industry of PayTV in India, like Hathway, have understood the challenges that lie ahead along with the great opportunity. Their challenges are typically seven-fold.

  • Quicker roll-out to go Digital
  • Scaling-up and managing growth: more subscribers and more locations
  • Packaging: shift from standard bundling to subscriber chosen set of channels
  • Multi-services: From traditional single offers to also provide Broadband, VoIP, Value-Added Services, including On-Demand, Shopping, etc.
  • LCO handling and management
  • CAS integration
  • TRAI/BECIL and other compliances

An industry pioneer and leader like SURE! (a MagnaQuest product) can help PayTV companies scale-up with ease, providing them budget-friendly solutions, catering to customers from the market leader-scale to Tier 2 and Tier 3; there are future challenges.

Each of this challenge is also an opportunity. For example, the challenge of going to digital faster means a quick infrastructure scale-up, which empowers you to manage rapid scale growth bound to follow with digital servicing, including growth arising out of government-mandated digitization.

With SURE!’s Billing and CRM suite; you can easily provide customers the flexibility to choose great packages suiting all kinds of home TV watchers’ needs, but it also enables you the option of moving to Double and Triple play.

Besides these immediate challenges, there are other challenges in the horizon, essentially post going digital, but these too come with hidden opportunities.

These future challenges will be:

  • Decreasing ARPU
  • Increase in churn, loss of subscribers
  • Customers become more choosy, difficult to please
  • Pressure to increase organizational efficiency and productivity

With a four-week rollout to comprehensive enable you to move to Digital, no matter what your size of company, SURE! is poised to transform the Indian PayTV industry and empower them to cash in on the next wave of evolution.
Going beyond offering just technology solutions and managed services; SURE! gives you domain consulting as part of the engagement. Our strength lies in our over 15 years in the Industry across the globe, servicing clients at all scales and levels, and in helping you deploy technology with a vision for tomorrow.

Be a better company, ready for changes ahead; making your transition smooth and handled with expertise. Grow into a bigger player and earn more, making your organization cash-in on your existing strengths with a vision that can easily convert challenge into opportunity.

The future is calling… are you ready?

Venu Madhav is a consultant with SURE! (a Magnaquest product). SURE! is an internationally acclaimed player in comprehensive end-to-end Subscription Business Solutions for PayTV, Broadband and Cloud Computing businesses – through deployment of Metered Billing, CRM, Service Fulfillment, Value-Added Services, and Managed Services.

By : Venu Madhav

Venu Madhav has over 15 years’ global experience in Software Solutions and Services. In the last 10 years he has worked with leading Pay TV & Media operators across MEA, APAC & Europe to help them innovate, stay competitive , monetize their services, reduce churn and increase ARPUs. At Magnaquest, Venu heads business for APAC and MEA regions. Magnaquest is internationally acclaimed player in comprehensive end-to-end Subscription, Billing & CRM Solutions for Pay TV, OTT, Broadband and Cloud Computing businesses.

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