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Aloft on GSAT-10, Tata Sky looks to the Southern Lights
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Tata Sky MD and CEO, Harit Nagpal, says: “We were never on the backfoot in most of the markets because of the space crunch. We did have to make a choice of whether to spread the content gap across the country, or in a few states. So, we had chosen to concentrate our content gap on the two states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. That is because the difference between the number of regional channels needed in these two states and what we could have offered then was large to bridge. We were already strong in the other states . We can now stop making the trade-off and compete at par in these two major markets as well.”

Apart from the regional markets of Tamil Nadu and Kerala, Tata Sky will also line up more of its Active (value-added) channels and regional channels for other markets. As Devendra Parulekar, Partner, Ernst & Young, points out, “Regional channels for DTH players will become crucial for a level-playing field because that remains one of the biggest USPs of cable providers.”
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The satellite beam will be in the same direction as its earlier satellite feed, so that once the satellite starts functioning in November, Tata Sky will not have to spend the one-two years needed to realign customers’ dish antennae to a new signal direction. Airtel had made a transition from one satellite (Insat 4CR) to another (SES 7) on ISRO’s recommendation last year because the latter promised a greater number of transponders. As a result, Airtel Digital TV (DTH) has some of the highest numbers of channels with 300 channels with 15 HD channels on offer. In the southern markets that Tata Sky plans to ramp up in , Airtel Digital TV already has a high number of channels, with 21 channels in Tamil and 14 in Malyalam, comparable to the numbers offered by Videocon D2H and Dish TV. Tata Sky has three channels in Malyali (Kerala) and 14 in Tamil (Tamil Nadu).
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