Star India announces new channel pricing, seven new channel packs

In keeping with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) tariff order, Star India has announced seven channels, with the Hindi packs starting at Rs 49 (exclusive of taxes). While all Star India channels will be available on an a-la-carte basis, the network has introduced channel bundles in seven languages (Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Tamil, Kannada, Telugu, and Malayalam) for the consumers to choose from.

The packs are available in four variants – value pack in SD (standard definition) and HD (high definition), and premium pack in SD and HD. All the packs have at least four sports channels from the network’s Star Sports bouquet, along with National Geographic and Nat Geo Wild. Depending on the language, the general entertainment channels vary.

The Star Premium Pack includes the Star Value Pack content as well as the international entertainment, movies, lifestyle and marquee sporting events such as Premier League, Grand Slam events and Formula 1. The premium pack is also available in seven languages.

Sanjay Gupta, managing director, Star India said, “With this pricing strategy, we hope to achieve two things – make sports accessible to as many TV homes as possible, and service as many regions (by language) as we can, all at rate affordable to the consumer.”

TRAI’s new tariff order, which has to be implemented by December 29, mandates broadcasters to declare the pricing of the channels. It also disallows any price disparity between cable digital platforms and direct-to-home (DTH) operators. While both broadcasters and distribution platforms can bundle channels, the consumer has the choice of buying channels on an a-la-carte basis as well.

In August this year, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL) had announced its new pricing strategy, in accordance with the TRAI tariff order. The Hindi SD packs from ZEEL start at Rs 45 while the Hindi HD packs start at RS 60. Sony Pictures Network India (SPN) has introduced similar packs, starting at Rs 31 while Viacom18's basic channel packs start at Rs 25.

Star India has also launched an awareness campaign to communicate to the consumers of the new pricing and change in subscription patters owing to the TRAI tariff order. Celebrities like Aamir Khan, Mohanlal, Kamal Hassan, Nagarjuna, MS Dhoni, Bengali movie star Dev, Kannada film star Darshan Thoogudeep, Swapnil Joshi have been roped in to communicate to and educate the consumers across the nation. They will be joined by prominent Star Network television faces like Divyanka Tripathi, Gautam Rode, Sharad Malhotra, Bhumika Gurung, and Sushant Singh.

Star is running the ads on across channels on its network. This is in addition to similar awareness advertisements by the Indian Broadcasting Foundation that are running across networks.

Pack Prices Star Value Pack (SD; in Rs) Star Premium Pack (SD; in Rs) Star Value Pack (HD; in Rs) Star Premium Pack (HD; in Rs)
Hindi 49 79 85 120
Marathi 49 79 85 120
Bengali 49 79 85 120
Tamil 25 69 75 110
Kannada 30 69 75 110
Malayalam 39 69 75 110
Telugu 39 69 75 110
                                                     Source: Star India; prices exclusive of taxes applicable 


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