B4U Movies, the Bollywood film and television network, is shifting gears. The channel is turning free-to-air from being a pay channel, in an attempt to broaden its reach in the rural regions. The change will take effect on April, 15.

Although being a pay channel, B4U Movies, to recall, is also accessible on the direct-to-home platform of DD Freedish. According to a statement from the company, “We want to grow our reach in rural India, which is the big growth market now”.

Priced at 3.55 INR à la carte, the channel has a sister channel in the name of B4U Music which is a Hindi music channel. The decision for the channel to turn FTA resulted after the BARC India reported that rural TV households’ data showed a huge growth in viewership. It was found that Urban TV households stand at 84 million while the rural area had a greater number of 99 million TV homes.

Echoing his thoughts, CVL Srinivas, the CEO of GroupM South Asia, the advertising media company in terms of billings, revealed that the growth of FTA channels had come at the cost of pay channels. In the same breath, the pay universe was still very crucial for effectiveness.

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