Monday, July 20, 2015

Dish TV Sri Lanka adds new channels, a-la-carte coming soon

A few days ago Dish TV Sri Lanka added some new channels to it's channel line up with the launch of a new package which brings the total tally of channels to 67. The rental is double of those in the base pack.

New channels such as Cartoon Network, Discovery Kids, Discovery Channel, Zee Cafe, Sony Six, Zee Studio, Zee Cinema & Zee TV are among the new comers. A notable surprise is the lack of Ten Sports channels which are also operated by Dish TV parent Zee.

Also an a-la-carte offering is being prepared. The link which briefly went online on friday has since being taken down by Dish TV Sri Lanka & it contained Animal Planet, TLC, Discovery Turbo, Discovery Science, Pogo, Toonami & several regional channels. The link has been replaced by a "Coming Soon" link now. This link is expected to go online soon once again.

Please keep us updated on the latest on Dish TV Sri Lanka as the days progress.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Dish TV Sri Lanka launches

After years of planning & months of testing, Dish TV Sri Lanka have officially commenced operations in Sri Lanka. The website reported earlier is now operational & the customer care hotline is (011) 5 111 222.

However the channel list leaves much to be desired with mainly Indian channels & not many Tamil or popular Hindi channels either. It's surprising that even parent company operated Zee Channels have not been included in the lineup. The package costs Rs 317 inclusive of taxes which is nothing compared to the rentals of other local providers but in terms of channel lineup ( too Dish TV offers nothing except for the few local channels provided.

The launch offerings have fallen well short of expectations & to survive in the market the offering should be made more attractive. With this lineup they will not be able to lure local Dish TV India subscribers to shift either.

Hopefully more channels will arrive soon & better sooner than later.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Dish TV Unconfirmed Package Info

According to reports surfacing on certain Indian websites, there was a recent meeting between Dish TV Sri Lanka representatives & their local dealers & distributors.
Addition reports have surfaced about package & other costs. As per the info, Installation charges are Rs 3990/= for a SD receiver & Monthly rental will be Rs 250/= + VAT.

There are to be 45 channels on this package as given below,

Channel Eye, Hiru TV, ITN, Nethra TV, Rupavahini, Shakthi TV, Sirasa TV, Siyatha, Swarnavahini, TNL, TV Derana, Vasantham TV, MTV Sports, The Buddhist, CSN.

Al Jazeera International, GOD TV, NHK World, Kalaignar TV, Captain TV, Sri Sankara TV, Kalaignar, Murasu, Kalaignar Sirippoli, Russia Today, DW, CCTV News, Zee Zing, Sanskar, Divya TV, Fashion TV Asia, Kairali WE, Disha, News Express, Saam TV, Live India, 9X Jalwa, Dhamaal TV, IndiaVision, Mazhavil Manorama, Kasturi TV, News Nation, Kashish TV, News State, Kairali WE, Hbn Telebrands, Katyani, Varnam TV, Star CJ2 Alive

As per the information this is one of the first packages to be available. Please do note that this is unconfirmed information since with a channel line up as above Dish TV will lose the market before they even begin services. It's likely those are just some of the channels or the information is wrong. 

Please do stay tuned for the latest on this & update us if and when you receive information.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Dish TV Lanka to launch on 25th May

It looks like the day has finally arrived. Dish TV is finally launching in Sri Lanka on May 25th. The Customer Service Hotline is (011) 5 111 222. 

Being one Asia's largest DTH service operators, Dish TV Sri Lanka will house the regional uplinking station to reach out to other Asian countries in the subcontinent. Dish TV Lanka can uplink channels not permitted to by Dish TV India, due to Indian regulations.

Besides that Dish TV has uplinked many local FTA channels & are expected to send local operators packing. But will they? The Sri Lankan market is different to India's, Dish TV consists of almost all channels in Indian feeds, even the ones for which we have begun to take Asian feeds for granted.

The deep pockets of Dish TV are certainly capable of adding those channels, but they seem to be more focused by the higher rentals they could charge locals compared to the ones in India.

The service is starting off as a basic service, No HD, No PVR. Recent Screen Shots reveal that the HBO will be HBO India, no news of AXN & some others, Sun TV have not yet granted permission for their channels to be carried on Dish TV Lanka. The Hindi channels will be the Indian feeds as opposed to the Asian feeds presently enjoyed.

Given below are some pictures courtesy kmalitha@warnunasat

Monday, March 30, 2015

Dish TV looking for dealers/distributors

The recent activation of the Dish TV Sri Lanka website, they are now on the lookout for dealers/distributors.

Reports suggest that Dish TV will launch in Sri Lanka with both Post Paid & Pre Paid services. The website at present displays a pretty basic Set Top Box which we expect to be sold initially. Whether Dish TV will expand it's offering to include HD & PVR services is yet to be seen.

The impending launch has already affected the local pay television scene since broadcasters such as Star India are asking local operators to block certain programming due to regional rights.

It's yet to be seen whether the blockade will be applicable to Dish TV Sri Lanka as well, however it seems likely that Dish TV Sri Lanka will not have the following channels
  • HBO India or HBO Asia
  • HBO Hits Asia or HBO Hits India
  • HBO Signature Asia
  • HBO Family
  • Cinemax
  • Star World India
  • Warner TV Asia or Warner India
  • Sun TV
  • Jaya TV
  • AXN Asia or AXN India
Channels such as Diva TV, etc are not expected as well. As per reports Dish TV India is only uplinking local channels from Sri Lanka & not any Asian feeds.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Dish TV Sri Lanka almost ready

According to reports reaching us the launch of Dish TV Sri Lanka is imminent. Probably within a month or so. Pictures have been circulating on various forums about their uplink station in Kandana. According to reports Dish TV is planning on a very limited service in Sri Lanka. There will be no 
  • Sun TV or Jaya TV channels.
  • No HD.
  • No PVR
We are not sure whether there will be any International feeds of channels such as HBO, etc. However it's unlikely and they would probably give the Indian feeds of the said channels or avoid providing them altogether due to regional restrictions. 

Apparently the rental will be around Rs 350/= (unconfirmed) & will include mostly all local channels in Sri Lanka. This rental if true makes this the cheapest service even cheaper than wired cable  tv providers.

It yet to be seen how this service will impact the local market & if the number of local channels are higher than local services then they will be able to market it among those who want to watch local channels more than the international ones.

The success of this depends on how they cater to Sri Lankan viewing habits since here tastes are different to India's.

Also Dish TV is to cater to the entire region using their Sri Lankan arm, this is due to more freedom in downlinking channels which are restricted in India.

Dish TV's entrance to the local market is good for competition but their success depends on how they understand the market & that in turn determines the level of competition that they can offer.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Dish TV's Sri Lanka strategy

With Dish TV testing transmissions under a company known as Dish TV Sri Lanka, lets take a look at their possible strategy in Sri Lanka. It's quite clear that Dish TV has been testing some local FTA channels including some Pakistani channels indicating that this is part of a larger regional strategy. With Pakistani channels having no downlink permission in India, the easiest would be for Dish TV to operate the service using Sri Lanka since there is no permission required for any channel to downlink in Sri Lanka.

Dish TV we believe are targeting Sri Lanka and the Pakistan region at the same time, which explains why there are Sri Lankan & Pakistani channels being tested.

It's quite likely that Dish TV will only uplink Sri Lankan channels and Pakistani channels using Dish TV Sri Lanka and they will merge these with their present Dish TV offerings from India to provide a combined service to Sri Lankans as well as Pakistani subscribers.

The drawback to this is that 100% of the channels will be Indian feeds like HBO, AXN, etc unless Asian feeds of these specific channels are uplinked from the Sri Lanka centre, this seems highly unlikely and there is no indication of such a move. We don't know too much about the Pakistani subscribers but lets take a look at our Sri Lankan subscribers.

There are two types of Pay Television viewers in Sri Lanka, ones that crave Hindi entertainment and the other that demands Asian feeds of International channels. A majority of locals who have purchased black market Indian DTH services are those who crave Hindi entertainment and are not worried too much about the English entertainment channels. Some of these locals have subscribed to Sri Lankan pay services due to the lack of local FTA channels on these Indian providers, and are constantly demanding the addition of all local FTA channels and requesting more Hindi entertainment channels from local services. These types of subscribers are clearly to shift to services like Dish TV Sri Lanka once it launches.

The others also want local FTA channels from local services but are far more concerned about the quality of the channels provided and constantly demand quality Asian versions of channels which are generally commercial free. Sadly not all channels are available in this manner, Fox International Channels are withdrawing Asian feeds from Sri Lanka & are replacing them with Indian feeds, remember Star Movies Asia was removed and replaced with Star Movies India as part of a regionalisation move. The only Asian feeds available to us Sri Lankans from Fox International Channels is Fox Crime & Nat Geo People which may be replaced by the Indian version sooner or later. But not all Networks are following Fox International Channel's strategy, HBO & AXN still continue to offer Asian feeds for Sri Lanka & Universal which is not available in India is available in Sri Lanka.

As per Dish TV Sri Lanka's strategy it seems that they will be content to launch with all Indian feeds plus local FTA channels, it remains yet to be seen whether they will switch feeds of channels that allow Asian feeds and tap the market that demands it. That market is presently dominated by Dialog TV, LBN Cable TV & Peo TV. 

Recently Dialog TV ramped up their offerings with channels such as "Universal Channel Asia" & "Sundance Channel Asia", which will surely catch the attention of the subscriber who demands Asian feeds, this is in addition to some of the Asian feeds available namely HBO Network Asia Channels, AXN Asia, Fox Crime Asia, Nat Geo People Asia, Diva Universal Asia (no Indian version available), Cartoon Network Asia, Toonami (No Indian Version Available).

If Dish TV needs to successfully compete with local services, the market that demands Asian Feeds is a critical one. It all depends on whether Dish TV wants to provide Sri Lankans a service at a higher rental and make a quick buck or provide a quality service to locals. Success in India as a pay television service doesn't automatically translate to success in Sri Lanka. There is no doubt that local services will fight it out and will not easily allow Dish TV to dominate the market they created.