On October 7 Bharti Airtel launched its Direct to Home(DTH) Service on Tuesday, marking the telecom company’s entry into media and entertainment. With the launch of Airtel’s ‘Digital TV’, the new direct-to-home (DTH) service from the telecom operator has become the sixth DTH service provider and the second to launch its service this year behind Reliance ADA group’s Big TV. Others in the category include Dish TV, Tata Sky, Sun Direct and DD Direct Plus. Only subscribers of the DD Direct Plus don’t have to pay any monthly subscription fee.

Initially, Airtel had introduced three different packages for the North and Southern markets. For the Northern market, the package starts from Rs 2,499 and for the South, the package would start from Rs 1,499. Depending on the language and genre of channels, the monthly tariffs would range from Rs 125 to Rs 424. Other features that Airtel wanted to highlight were the technology (MPEG4 standard with DVB S2 technology), an account balance indicator, 10 World Space channels and multiple packages of television content designed to cater to genre (such as sports) and language affinity.

The Ad Game

Reliance ADAG’s Big TV and Bharti Airtel’s Digital TV have unleashed a new ad game. While Bharti Airtel ran advertisement teasers for its new DTH business for a week before officially launching the service today, arch rival Big TV, launched in August, unleashed its counter campaign this Monday.

While Airtel’s DTH campaign has animated creatures running around a chair chanting, “See you at home”, the Big TV ad uses the same set up and even the punchline with a few additions. Big TV’s campaign hence reads ‘See you at home with 32 cinema halls’, ‘See you at home with digital picture and sound’ and ‘See you at home with over 200 TV channels.’ The setup of the chair is so similar that consumers could be easily deceived and get attracted to the BIG TV ad thinking the teasers of Airtel actually belong to BIG TV. Airtel’s DIGITAL TV has a very attractive ad showing celebrities, sportsperson and TV stars welcoming you to sit on your sofa and watch TV comfortably.

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