Tata Sky plans tie-ups with Sony Pictures, Fox for content
In the backdrop of intensifying battle in the direct-to-home (DTH) space, Tata Sky's plans to stay on the top with tieups.

The partners include global entertainment majors such as Sony Pictures and Fox for content as varied as movies and coverage of special events which will constitute the key to the expansion of its ‘pay per view’ portfolio.

Star India Pvt Ltd, the Indian subsidiary of Fox parent News Corp, holds a 20% stake in Tata Sky Ltd.

The pay-per-view movie-service offers viewers access to the most recently launched Hollywood and Bollywood blockbusters. In January, Tata Sky rival, Dish TV, entered into a tieup with Sony Pictures, in a move to expand its movie-on-demand segment.

The tieup with Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI), a division of Sony Pictures Entertainment, gave subscribers access to the latter’s rich blockbuster movie-collection.

Acknowledging the development, Vikram Kaushik, managing director and CEO, Tata Sky Ltd, told FE , “We are in discussions with Sony Pictures and Fox for content, but it is too early to comment on the the content or the time-frame. As regulations mandate that no DTH player can create and own content, we are forced to go to sources." Earlier, there were reports that Fox News Channel, the US-based channel of News Corp, plans to enter India through its tie-up with Tata Sky.

Recently, Tata Sky expanded its value-added services by launching Actve Matrimony in association with bharatmatrimony.com. The DTH company has also launched "Actve Darshan" — broadcasting live telecasts of religious services at temples. The company also plans to launch regional content in its pay-per- view offer for which the cost has been estimated at about Rs 50-75 per movie.

However, analysts are not too optimistic about the costs involved. According to a Mumbai-based media, “DTH companies are losing heavily on each new connection. Dish TV is losing about Rs 2,600 per new connection, while Tata Sky is losing Rs 5,000. Dish TV’s recovery period for a single connection comes to 30 months, while Tata Sky will take 50 months.” Tata Sky's Kaushik echoed the same opinion. “It’s like the telecom industry. You will have to have deep pockets as the recovery period is long. So, though the recovery period is pretty long, we have invested about Rs 4,000 crore so far,” he said.

Earlier, Tata Sky had approached the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission (MRTPC) to pass an interim order restraining...
Tata Sky plans tie-ups with Sony Pictures, Fox for content - The Financial Express