With the likes of ZEE TV, ZEE Cinema, ZEE Punjabi, Sony Entertainment Television, Sony Max, Sony Mix and B4U Movies joining the Sky basic pack from August, it seems a number of existing free broadcasters are also said to be in talks with Sky about being a part of the pack.
Come August, it will be the first time, market leader Star TV will compete with old rivals ZEE Network and Sony Pictures Networks channels in the UK on the same platform. This will also be a first for existing free services to do a U-turn and go behind an encryption window. BizAsialive.com understands that up to three free channels on the Sky platform could join the ZEE, Sony and Star TV channels in the same pack.
The soon-to-cease, Sky Asia Pack, launched with much fanfare three years ago but disappointed with relatively poor subscription numbers. The main cause of this is said to be the increasing number of free Asian TV channels that have flooded the Sky platform. So to eradicate the issue this time around, it seems Sky will lure a couple more Asian TV services to bolster its pack with the biggest services.
With the new changes, the Sky Original Pack is guaranteed to consist of four Bollywood movie channels (Star Gold, ZEE Cinema, Sony Max and B4U Movies), three flagship Hindi entertainment channels (Star Plus, ZEE TV and Sony Entertainment Television) and two secondary entertainment channels (Life OK and Star Utsav). There will also be the first encrypted Hindi music and Punjabi entertainment channel, Sony Mix and ZEE Punjabi in the pack.
A source told BizAsiaLive.com , “Sky will do everything it can to attempt to bolster its pack. There’s hearsay in the industry that another entertainment channel, as well as a Pakistani service could form the pack. Viewers who subscribe to Sky won’t experience any difference, except a saving of £15 from the axing of the Sky Asia Pack. However, its the broadcasters who join the Sky basic pack who will benefit the most with an extra few pounds from Sky.”
When the channels join the Sky basic pack this summer, it will be interesting to see the real numbers of the likes of ZEE TV and Sony Entertainment Television that have long had an emotional connect with viewers since the mid 90s. As well as surprises, there could also be some causalities along the way. The game is about to change forever this summer!
Sky is yet to officially announce the developments. An announcement is expected sometime in July.