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 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

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

You TV starts programming little by little

A couple of days ago we noticed that You TV (formerly Max TV) which rebranded a couple of months back but stuck solely to broadcasting only France 24, is now slowly introducing other programming content. However the other programming that are being introduced are still the same ones that existed during the time Max TV brand existed. Nothing much has changed, at the moment "Masterchef" is on air, political programme "4th Floor" is available.

We are still unsure if other programming such as movies, music programming and wrestling which was available under the Max brand have also returned but if not, it should likely do so over the coming weeks.

We hope that for the sake of viewers and for all the teasers that were run over the period of the test transmission, some fresh programming will be available to viewers in due course.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Videocon & Dish TV to launch in Sri Lanka soon

Unconfirmed reports coming to us are indicating that Videocon & Dish TV will be launching in Sri Lanka in the very near future. The operators are said to be looking at the possibility of setting up an earth station and uplinking from Sri Lankan soil.

We are unable to confirm these reports, however there were indications back in 2012 of Dish TV expressing an interest to launch services officially in Sri Lanka.

Videocon on the other hand has been the latest entry into the Indian DTH market and has approximately about 10 million subscribers & has the most number of HD channels on offer compared to the other operators.

If this turns out to be true, these two companies will pose a great challenge & increase competition in the rather stagnant pay television market in Sri Lanka.

Monday, February 03, 2014

CSN showcases RBS 6 Nations

After a string of days with no clear broadcaster for RBS 6 Nations over FTA in Sri Lanka, it is pleasing to note that CSN carried the matches "LIVE" for Sri Lankan FTA audiences. The broadcast which was pulled off the special feed provided by "Setanta Sports" for their partners in Sri Lanka which was run without the "Setanta" logo on all platforms.

It is clear that over the two (three if Channel Eye is also taken into consideration) sports channels in Sri Lanka, CSN seems to be the one thats coming out on top. This is not considering cricketing content.

With RBS 6 Nations seemingly to come on CSN over the next few weeks, its yet to be seen if the Winter Olympics are broadcast over local airwaves. With Russia being the host, it seems that it will be & hopefully won't be exclusive to any channel, since there are many simultaneous events. A combination of channels such as Channel Eye, NTV, MTV sports, CSN would do a better job.

Friday, January 31, 2014

The so-called Sports channels

It's sad to note the plight of the two so-called sports channels in Sri Lanka, namely CSN (Carlton Sports Network) & MTV Sports. So far non of them have confirmed the "LIVE" broadcast of the RBS Six Nations Rugby, MTV Sports states on their facebook page that they will have highlights of the matches throughout the tournament, but it doesn't say anything about "LIVE" broadcasts.

CSN the champion of rugger in Sri Lanka seems to be ignoring this tournament too, with no mention of it on their website, they too seem to have swept it under the rug, CSN a partner for Setanta Sports, the pay television network that even though they haven't secured rights for the entire region have allocated a special feed for all their partners in Sri Lanka to be able to broadcast the rugby. CSN used to broadcast rugby live from Setanta but the past few months has seen a decline in the rugby specially after the cricket came on CSN. 

This tournament is held during evening hours Sri Lanka time and it seems that neither sports channels CSN & MTV Sports are willing to let their regular entertainment programming slide for a sporting event. There is no point in calling them sports channels.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Channel Eye resumes cricket broadcasting

After losing out to (actually being robbed of) cricket broadcasting rights by CSN due to political influences, SLRC's Channel Eye & NTV have resumed broadcasting cricketing content. We are unable to confirm whether this is just a one time move or whether Channel Eye will continue broadcasting "LIVE" cricket after this tour comes to a close.

CSN which won the rights to Sri Lankan cricketing controversially were broadcasting all cricketing content involving Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka & overseas. This sudden shift comes as a surprise. It's good news to the cricket lover in Sri Lanka who may not be privileged to have subscribed to pay television, since SLRC's quality of broadcast and coverage far supersede's that of CSN.

We hope that NTV will only carry a simulcast and will not at any point in time be used to carry out a sole broadcast since NTV's coverage is much worse than CSN. Channel Eye should at all times be broadcasting the cricket & if not then "Rupavahini" should take over.

Since Channel Eye is the defacto sports channel operated by SLRC we believe that the matches will always be available on it and NTV will broadcast the matches only as a simulcast.