It۪s been described as the “biggest Asian TV package ever” and it۪s set to grow even bigger! VIEWASIA, the new Asian TV bundle of channels launched earlier this month, consists of seven channels with Sony Entertainment Television Asia, B4U Movies, Aaj Tak, ARY Digital, MAX, SAB and Sahara One.
BizAsia.co.uk spoke to Rajan Singh, Executive Vice-President for International Business, Sony Entertainment Network and VIEWASIA.
How did the idea of VIEWASIA come about and why rebrand Max Mix?
It came about on the grounds that we were always looking for one unified package that the Asian Community would want to provide them with all of their genre needs. The reason why we rebranded was because we did not want to highlight any single channel in the package and also to portray the concept of the package more clearly to the outside world.
How would you justify the prices, especially with the pressures everyone is facing in these difficult economic times?
What we have done is taken two packages with a total price of 28.98 (13.99 for SonyB4U and 14.99 for Max Mix) and offered this to our current subscribers for only 15.99 and new customers for 17.99. Therefore in this current economic climate, we have actually brought prices down by over 40%.
Why did you decide to add Sony Entertainment Television Asia and B4U Movies in the bundle?
Our objective has always been to provide the community with the largest number of premium channels at a cost effective price without compromising on quality. Sony TV Asia and B4U Movies are just the beginning to adding popular channels to the bouquet.
With B4U Music one of the most popular brands in the UK market, did you not want to add this to the bundle as well?
Our objective has always been for customers to save money, therefore bringing B4U Music into VIEWASIA would go against that as it is currently available free to Sky. Our commitment therefore remains to continue not charging for it and keeping it as the popular music channel it so rightly is.
There’s unconfirmed reports that India’s number one channel Colors will soon be added to the bouquet – any word on this?
We are negotiating with a number of channels to bring them into the bouquet. Until all our talks are in place, it would be premature to confirm or deny what channels are involved. I’m sure BizAsia.co.uk will be the first to know when we have confirmed any new channels.
Do you think we’ll ever see the likes of ZEE Network and STAR channels joining forces with VIEWASIA?
Which channel (s) from India, Pakistan, US or UK would you most like to see a part of VIEWASIA?
We are constantly reviewing and monitoring channels from South Asia. As we move on and our current offering stabilises, we will start to introduce channels which have made the mark under our strict quality standard.
Don’t you feel channels like Sahara One, SAB and B4U Movies that are relatively smaller to your other channels are weakening the VIEWASIA bundle?
These channels could never be regarded as “small” and at the end of the day, our objective is to have channels in our bouquet which our customers have showed that they want to watch.
How are you promoting the VIEWASIA bundle?
Every means at our disposal are being used or will be used in the coming weeks, including both traditional advertising (print, radio. Internet) as well as more exciting marketing means available to us.
Since VIEWASIA launched on Monday 3rd August, viewers have noticed the VIEWASIA logo on screen, is this a permanent fixture or a temporary?
Temporary. We want to make sure viewers know which channels have united to bring them the VIEWASIA package.
Can viewers living outside the UK or watching on cable be able to subscribe to VIEWASIA soon?
We are negotiating with various platforms to replicate the VIEWASIA package. I hope we can soon.
Since VIEWASIA launched, viewers have constantly complained to BizAsia.co.uk about the problems getting through to the subscription hotline number. Why is this? Disorganised call centre or just that the response has been bigger than you had expected?
The response has been absolutely tremendous but we are coping with our call centre. There will be times when we will be experiencing high volumes of calls.
What next for VIEWASIA?
Replication of this package in Europe very soon. And continually adding new channels to the current UK package. For our customers this will always mean “more choice. more variety.”