The ‘game’ behind the playground
Many strategies are being tested in the backstage battle. There are 14 crore TV screens with cable connection in India. Of these, 1.7 crore connections are provided by 3 cable TV operators. GTPL Hathway Limited has provided 80 lakh connections across the country. Hathway Cable & Datacom Limited has provided 47 lakh connections and Den Networks Limited has provided 40 lakh connections.
Influence of Reliance
Reliance is a major shareholder in Hathaway Cable & Datacom and Den Networks Limited. Reliance also has a non-direct stake of 28% in GTPL Hathaway. In short, Reliance provides cable services to more than 1.7 crore TV screens. Therefore, Reliance can decide which channels and in which package subscribers should watch.
This is where Reliance comes into play. All the 3 cable TV companies mentioned above have decided to drop Star Sports from their base package. GTPL Hathaway has provided technical confirmation on this matter. The company said that its Rs 325 base plan will not include channels including Star Sports from April 1.
The challenge faced by Disney
IPL matches will be telecast pan-India on Disney’s 22 Star Sports channels in various languages. Disney has informed advertisers that there will be a record TV viewership this year. This is while Jio Cinema is going to stream IPL for free. But if the contract with Disney is not profitable, Disney will have to be ready for more lapses in the contracts.
This is where Disney faces the challenge. With the IPL just days away, advertisers need to be reassured that there will be no need for renegotiation of advertising contracts. Reliance will have to discuss with the 3 participating cable operators if any moves are possible. If something is done in favor of these three cable operators here, the rest of the cable operators are also likely to raise new demands.
Also Read : New CFO for Reliance Industries empire; Detailed information
Options for those watching the game
With this, those who want to watch IPL now have the given options.
- Buy a more expensive package
- Subscribe to Star Sports channels only out of package. Here too the cost is high
- Switch to DTH players like Tata Play, Dish TV, Airtel DTH. These also cost more.
At the same time, all users will have the opportunity to watch IPL on Jio Cinema for free. This will increase the viewership and advertising revenue of Jio Cinema.
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