Exclusive: Sky planning new Asian channel bundle

Sky planning Asian TV package?
Sky planning Asian TV package?

In response to rival Virgin Media’s Asian Mela TV package, BSkyB is planning to launch its own Asian TV bundle consisting of third-party channels, BizAsia can exclusively confirm.

While the discussions are at an early stage, this will no doubt be seen to some as a lifeline for premium channels. The subscription numbers of premium broadcasters have fallen in recent times due to the growing number of free channels available. But will the bundle be attractive enough to lure in lost viewers?

Well, according to sources close to BizAsia, the likes of ZEE Network, Sony Entertainment Television Asia, B4U Movies and possibly ARY Digital could club together for a package worth around �10.00 per month – similar to Virgin Media’s price offering. Unlike, the Star TV channels, which are sold along other mainstream English channels, the new package is expected to be offered as a bolt-on.

One of the broadcasters mentioned above, told BizAsia, “We are exploring options, at this stage nothing concrete to share with you but hoping to have clarity on way forward very soon.”

Another said, “In the way the market is changing, we need to respond by giving more value and choice to viewers. We will announce something soon.”

Incidentally, ZEE Network sells its three channels (ZEE TV, ZEE Cinema and ZEE Punjabi) for �15.99 per month, whereas VIEWASIA, which consists of Sony TV, Sony MAX, ARY Digital and B4U Movies, is priced at �17.99 per month.

There were talks earlier of ZEE Network and Sony TV collaborating for a new VIEWASIA package, however, the deal collapsed due to the parties not being able to agree to terms.

With UK Asian broadcasters facing pressure from the slew of free channels like Colors, Rishtey, PTC Punjabi, B4U Music, Zing and Lamhe, it is getting interesting on the extent premium broadcasters are going to avoid turning free-to-air.

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