Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Exclusive - MTV Sports/New 1st faces identity crisis

In the wake of the launch of ADA Derana 24x7, MTV Sports / New 1st is facing an identity crisis. The channel which has a News 1st logo and MTV Sports logo displayed and telecasts everything ranging from sports, entertainment, etc doesn't seem capable of deciding what content to telecast. Initially MTV Sports biggest crisis was that they telecast many entertainment and less sports programming. After reports of the launch of a probable 24x7 news channel, then the News 1st logo was added compounding the problem even further. It seems that MTV/MBC was taken off guard and never expected a competitor to foray into dedicated news broadcasting.

So the only solution for MTV/MBC is to launch a channel for 24x7 news channel FTA, since ADA Derana is only available on Dialog TV at the moment, however expected to be on other platforms & FTA soon. Further MTV Sports should be dedicated to only sports or renamed as "MTV Sports & Entertainment". If it's renamed as "MTV Sports and News" it could be work but then again their news brand is "News 1st" which would be hard to incorporate into the name.

However the channel at the moment doesn't seem to have a sense of direction and has multiple logo's with all types of programming. It's facing an identity crisis and if rumors are to be believed there are a few that suggest that there are some severe management disputes over the direction of the channel. It looks like the Derana's are causing the Maharaja's to crack.

Let's not forget the bogus International Desk at News 1st where those who sit in there homes in Sri Lanka are asked to report as if from a major world city and the ones who do report from overseas are just some Sri Lankans who study or work in those countries who are known to staff members and are asked to read out a report prepared in Sri Lanka.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Football extravaganza start in a few hours

In a few hours the biggest football extravaganza will kick off "LIVE" from Brazil. Local television viewers have the options of watching the broadcasts on Free-To-Air television via the state owned SLRC channels Rupavahini & Channel Eye, or on pay television services via Sony Six, provided the service provides the said channel - If not then it's best to call your service and urge them to add the channel immediately.

The event which lasts until July will be undoubted followed by the sports loving lankan public where football has its fair share of hard core followers. The timings may not be very viewer friendly with many matches starting at 1:00am, 3:00am and a few at 9:00pm, however this isn't going to stop the lankan public from catching the action.

We hope local pay services such as Dialog TV which happens to be the only HD enabled service will provide Sony Six HD for its subscribers.


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Thinetha TV - Sri Lanka's first satellite HD channel, press release

Press Release: Thinetha TV


Sri Lanka's First HD Satellite Television Channel "Thinetha TV" Commence Soon

Steps have been taken to initiate a satellite television channel called "Thinetha TV" with the view of informing the world on economical and social trends achieved by Sri Lanka after the 30-year-long war.

All programmes, which are telecasted in a national level television channel, are expected to be telecasted in this channel. Accordingly, programmes such as news and current affairs, tele dramas and musical programmes, documentaries, youth and women's programmes, sports and live shows will be telecasted. All these programmes will be new creations of Thinetha TV. A special attention has been paid to create these programmes to be complied with the World Television Charter, which is also signed by Sri Lanka, and to media ethics.

This will be the first satellite transmitted television channel of Sri Lanka, which covers 116 countries around the world. It expects to cover Asia, Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Australia. The channel, which aims to provide local information to migrant Sri Lankans and to uplift their taste, expects to telecast programmes in Sinhala, Tamil and English.



Further details can be gained through internet on www.facebook.com/thinethatv web page. 

Friday, May 02, 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.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Dish TV Sri Lanka adds local channels

According to reports reaching us, Dish TV Sri Lanka has added many of the FTA local channels to it's platform. The channels are reportedly on NSS6 and SES8 at 95.0E 12170, H, 40700.

At present it's said that Buddhist TV, Sirasa TV, Hiru TV, Derana, CSN, Vasantham, Swarnavahini are testing. However other reports suggest that Rupavahini, Siyatha TV, TNL TV have all being added too. This clearly indicates that a launch is imminent. 

Dish TV prides itself as the largest DTH operator in Asia and has it major focus on India, however the average charge per user is higher in Sri Lanka making Sri Lanka an attractive business opportunity. Sri Lanka has just one DTH operator Dialog TV who have been quite lethargic in the past and have been removing channels as per the whims and fancies of management. Time sharing of channels and sudden replacements have all contributed to customer dissatisfaction and the entrance of another operator will either make or break Dialog TV.

Dish TV Sri Lanka is a joint partnership between Dish TV India & Sat Net who have high handed political connections and shady business deals. Sat Net was notorious in their involvement in the shutting down of DTH operator CBNSat which is presently Dialog TV. However Dish TV has a higher percentage of shares in Dish TV Sri Lanka compared to SatNet who hold the DTH operator license.

It's unclear which feeds of international channels Dish TV Sri Lanka will carry, for example will Dish TV carry AXN India or AXN Asia, will it carry HBO India or HBO Asia, these questions are yet to be answered but will soon become clear in the not so distant future.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Dish TV Sri Lanka starts testing

According to information coming in, Dish TV Sri Lanka has commenced testing on SES8 95E 12170H 40700 DVB-S. According to information there are about 27 channels being tested. Most of these channels are  either Pakistani, Bangladeshi & Afghan channels.

It seems that since most of these channels cannot be downlinked in India, Dish TV will use Sri Lanka as a base to launch services across Asia. No local/International channel is available at the moment from SES8. It's likely that most of the international channels will be provided to Sri lanka from the original India focused links and the regional ones will come from the SES8 satellite and will be released on a country to country basis. A combination of SES8 & existing satellites will probably be used to service these regions.

It's not clear as to the feeds that Dish TV Sri Lanka will carry, for example will HBO be the Singapore feed or the Indian feed, will AXN be the Indian feed or the Singapore? Its possible for Dish TV Sri Lanka to uplink only the special Singapore feeds/regional channels from Sri Lanka and open up those that carry the Indian feeds from their existing links, saving them cost. They could also block those channels that are not allowed in Sri Lanka like Sony Pix, HBO India & AXN India.

Dish TV's strategy with Sri Lanka is still unclear, however judging from the channels on test on SES8, it seems clear that Dish TV Sri Lanka is not only targeted at Sri Lanka but rather at the whole of the subcontinent region.

Await the launch of our newest blog dishtvlk.blogspot.com soon!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Dish TV preparing for Sri Lanka launch

Dish TV India is to launch services in Sri Lanka soon in a joint venture formed with Satnet. The joint venture company Dish TV Lanka  is 70% owned by Dish TV & 30% owned by Satnet and makes use of Satnet's DTH license.

Dish TV which planned to invest Rupees 700 million initially has approved a further Rupees 300 million for its Sri Lankan operations.

Dish TV plans to use Conax as it's encryption provider (the same used by Dish TV India), and the same set-top box suppliers who supply the Indian market. Dish TV will use a dedicated transponder on "SES" satellite.

It's unclear as to when Dish TV will build their own satellite up-linking station in Sri Lanka, however unconfirmed reports say that the up-linking station is already complete.

Its not clear as to the content that Dish TV will make available. Will they allow Asian feeds of popular channels such as HBO, AXN, etc or will they stick solely to the ad infested Indian feeds? Will they give preference to Tamil & Hindi channels over English channels? Will they include local channels? A lot of questions remain, however the competition is most welcome in a market where there is not much movement with one sole DTH company dominating and swapping and replacing channels as they wish and the only IPTV provider doing nothing to improve service quality or add new channels.

It's quite clear that the local operators will react to this development, for them to face the stiff competition posed by Dish TV, they should start now instead of adopting a wait and see attitude.

Source "Television Post": Dish TV readying to launch in Sri Lanka soon via JV company