TV guide channel gets ready to air on DTH platform

‘What’s on India’, a TV guide channel, will be available to viewers on some DTH services and cables.

Television guidance channel ‘What’s on India’ is planning to tie up with direct-to-home (DTH) services providers Airtel Digital, Tata Sky and Dish TV as well as with some local cable operators said a senior official. Currently, users of Hathway’s set-top box can view the channel which acts as a programme surfing guide for about 50 different channels available in the country.

“During December, we will be tying up with most of the DTH service providers and channels as part of our expansion strategy,” said Atul Phadnis, founder-promoter and chief executive of What’s On India Media Pvt Ltd.

There is an in-built electronic programme guide (EPG) application available on many of the DTH set top boxes. However, viewers need to surf through it channel-by-channel. What’s on India would provide the channel guide segregated into different categories like, news, films, general entertainment and sports. It will also provide suggestions to the viewer on the best programme or show to watch at a particular time.

Currently, What’s on India provides programme details for about 50 different channels, out of around 350 channels currently being aired in the country. It is planning to increase its channel coverage by adding 75-80 channels and aims to reach about 20 million homes by the first quarter of 2010. “It took me two years to launch this channel. The ministry of information and broadcasting granted us the license early November this year and we commenced our operation by end of November,” said Mr Phadnis.

Before launching the TV guidance channel, the company conducted surveys with a sample size of 2,500 customers from cities including Lucknow, Chandigarh and Allahabad to asses the taste of the viewers. The channel has an analyst team of more than 10 people which decides on what category of the content should be telecasted based on the best content running at that particular time. For example, if the analyst team thinks that the afternoon is best suited for dramas and morning is the best time to telecast religious content, it will select the best content among these two categories and telecast it as the best content available at a particular time slot.
— Pallabika Ganguly

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