Times Television Network (TTN) has partnered with MSM Discovery Pvt. Ltd, also known as TheOneAlliance, a joint venture between Sony Multi Screen Media Pvt. Ltd. and Discovery Communications, for collection of subscription revenue for its channels, reports Times of India.
The partnership covers all the news and entertainment channels of TTN including ET NOW, MOVIES NOW, TIMES NOW and ZOOM. TheOneAlliance will collect subscription revenue of TTN channels generated through cable (analogue and digit), DTH, IPTV and HITS platforms. The report claims that TTN will, however, address their marketing and channel penetration plans independently.
It is interesting to note that the DTH subscriptions as of June 2012 is slowing down showing only 16% growth rate. On the other hand, IPTV is being called a luxury medium due to its high cost and has not garnered a significant amount of subscribers. Remember that MyWay, one of BSNL’s IPTV partners, had shut down its operations in India in November 2011, following poor subscriber uptake. Airtel had also previously informed that it is going considerably slower on its IPTV service as compared to its DTH service.
That said, there’s only one HITS platform — the Jain HITS platform that was launched in August 2012. Essel Group, the first and only Headend-in-the-Sky (HITS) operator in the country had suspended its operations in 2010, citing high entry fees, absence of a favourable tariff plan and restrictions on the use of DTH infrastructure. Hence, we believe the HITS platform subscriptions are also likely to be significantly low. However, this leaves cable as the highest source of subscription income for television networks.
With digitization, it is becoming evident that the subscription to television channels is likely to become more accountable.
Last month, TV18 and Viacom18 content monetization joint venture IndiaCast had inked a distribution joint venture with a DisneyUTV group company UTV Global Broadcasting (UGBL) to distribute 35 TV channels from the TV18, Viacom18, Disney UTV, Eenadu Group and A+E Networks to Cable, DTH and HITS platforms in India.
In the same month, IndiaCast had also inked similar distribution deal with Zee New Media’s online TV subscription service Ditto TV and Digivive’s mobile TV app nexGTv. As part of the deal, Ditto TV got access to IndiaCast’s content from 19 television channels, including 12 regional channels, five news channels, one entertainment channel and one music channel, for its online streaming service and video on demand services on mobile phones, tablets, PCs, entertainment boxes and connected TVs while nexGTv got access to live stream 20 channels including - Colors, MTV, CNBC-TV18, IBN7, CNBC Awaaz, IBN Lokmat, CNN IBN, History TV18, ETV Gujarati, ETV Marathi, ETV Bangla, ETV Kannada, ETV Oriya, ETV UP, ETV MP, ETV Rajasthan, ETV Urdu, ETV Bihar, ETV and ETV2.
In December 2012, online video streaming service iStream had inked a similar multi-year licensing deal with IndiaCast. Following the deal, iStream.com users got access to IndiaCast’s content library of content from the network’s 20 channels through streaming, video on demand services and Internet-enabled devices including smart phones and tablets.
These partnerships indicate that television networks are expecting subscriptions to become a significant source of revenue. Besides this, the networks are also likely to enjoy a significant incremental advantage due to even the slightest increase in the subscription fees with high volume of subscriptions.
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(With Inputs from Vikas SN)