India´s latest communication satellite GSAT-10 operated by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) was launched successfully. The launch is expected to reduce the transponder space woes amongst the DTH players in the country. The transponders will commence its operations from November this year will aid DTH operators to focus on key states such as Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Tata Sky, one amongst India´s 7 DTH players is expected to approach for additional of 8-10 transponder space on GSAT-10 .This will enable the operator to carry 100 -180 channels. Tata Sky currently carries 200 channels on Insat 4A with 12 transponders.
Tata Sky MD and CEO Harit Nagpal says, “We were never on the backfoot in most of the markets because of the space crunch. We did have to make a choice of whether to spread the content gap across the country or in a few states. So, we had chosen to concentrate our content gap on the two states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. That is because the difference between the number of regional channels needed in these two states and what we could have offered then was large to bridge. We were already strong in the other states. We can now stop making the trade-off and compete at par in these two major markets as well.”
GSAT-10 has 30 transponders, including 12 in normal C-band, 6 in lower extended C-band and 12 Ku-band and a GPS. Airtel, another major DTH provider in India is also seeking space in GSAT- 10. This will help DTH providers to carry additional channels to compete against the channel offering of digital cable providers.