There is a lot more action expected in the DTH market in India with southern player Sun Direct announcing its Mumbai launch. Sun Direct is an 80:20 JV between the Maran family and the Astro Group of Malaysia. The DTH service will soon also be launched in Hindi speaking markets.
There are four major players in the market currently: Airtel, Tata Sky, Dish TV and Reliance Big TV. According to Tony D' Silva, COO, Sun Direct, the biggest differentiator for the brand will be the pricing point which is lesser than the other brands. He said, "Because of our understanding of consumer behaviour, we have priced and positioned it very differently."
The company is offering a package of Rs 499 which has 130+ channels for a five months subscription (Rs 1000 for installation). It also has a 'My Pack' with a bundle of regional channels for markets with strong regional affinity including Maharashtra. The set top boxes are currently free.
The other point of differentiation will be distribution. "It will be available in most basic shops such as telephone booths, cycle repair shops and video parlours," said D' Silva.
The company has launched a multimedia launch campaign which has been designed by McCann Erickson. The media mix includes TV, print, outdoor, BTL and merchandising.
Sun Direct was launched in Tamil Nadu in December, 2007 and is now available in four southern states. It has 14 offices all over India. In the south, Sun Direct has a 65% market share and has crossed the two million subscriber mark. It is targeting a market share of 35-40% market share in Mumbai. The company aims to close the fiscal year with three million subscribers. The marketing budget for this fiscal year is Rs 150 crore and Rs 50 crore of that will be spent on the pan India launch.