With the launch of Sky Digital’s first ever all-Asian TV package, the real challenge amongst UK Asian TV channels will begin.
From Tuesday 4th March, the new package will launch and will consist of Sony Entertainment Television Asia, Sony MAX, ARY Digital, B4U Movies and the biggest and longest running Indian broadcaster, ZEE TV, along with ZEE Cinema and ZEE Punjabi.
Why the game changes? This will be the first time all major Asian broadcasters in UK will be available widely without the need of separate subscription. This will also be the first time ZEE Network channels will join forces with rival networks for the package since its launch in 1994 will be taking its premium subscribers to the new Sky package. This will no doubt give the new Sky package an instant boost, which is believed to be priced at �15 per month.
Not only that, the package can reach to 150,000 households or maybe more with exclusive sporting events from ZEE’s sister channel Ten Sports and hit shows from India including ‘Jodha Akbar’, ‘Qubool Hai’, ‘Bade Ache Lagte Hain’, ‘Ek Nayi Pehchaan’ and many others.
So while the future remains “pay” like any other matured market, this is certainly a bold step by the biggest subscription broadcasters like ZEE Network and Sony Entertainment Television Asia to grow the overall market.
It remains to be seen if the free TV players like Colors, Rishtey, Lamhe and Zing will jump ship and join the Sky package. Currently, all these four channels are available without any subscription whatsoever.