New Delhi: DTH major Dish TV on Wednesday launched a new initiative under which its new subscribers will be able to watch more than 70 channels for Rs 400 for a year.

"Aimed at viewers in the 4 metros, new customers will be eligible to receive a basic channel tier comprising of 70 channels for life (i.e. five years)...They will just have to do the minimum recharge of Rs 200 every six months to help us identify that they are still on our network," Dish TV Chief Operating Officer Salil Kapoor told reporters here.

A similar scheme would be introduced for our existing customers as well, he added.

"About 70 lakh users are expected to switch to digital platform from analogue cable by the October 31 deadline. Of this, about 60 percent are expected to opt for DTH. Of that, we expect to capture 30-35 percent share," Dish TV CEO RC Venkateish said.

Asked if this would increase the subscriber acquisition cost for the company, Kapoor said Dish TV was following the telecom industry model.

"A few years back, the free incoming calls changed the telecom industry and that is what we think this initiative will do. People may opt for 70 channels now, but going ahead they will see the value proposition that we offer and move to higher tariff plans with more channels," he added.

Announcing the initiative in Kolkata, Dish TV Executive Vice President (marketing) Anjali M Nanda said, "We are looking to tap the market as digitisation is becoming cumpulsory from October 31. We thought this would be the time because usually people wait for the last moment to comply."

The company has earmarked a marketing budget of Rs 30 crore for the initiative. "We will undertake a 360-degree campaign in both above the line and below the line activities.

A majority of this budget will go into print and digital media," Kapoor said.

According to the law enacted by Parliament, over 12 million homes with television in the four metros have to move to digital signals by October 31 this year.

The I&B Ministry has launched the ambitious task of completing digital switchover of the existing analogue cable TV in the country in a phased and time-bound manner by December 31, 2014.


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