Content providers Zee and ESPN-STAR Sports (ESS) are yet to confirm IPTV packages to BSNL, and Sony (NYSE: SNE) has only just done so reports the Financial Express. This delay in confirming content for IPTV is what is holding IPTV back. Without all the content packages ready, BSNL is not going to publicise the service. The service is going to be launched October 1 onwards in Kolkata, with 80 channels, and BSNL claims that around 3500 people have already registered for it.
I think these delays will cost IPTV dearly, since they’re racing against DTH and CAS systems for locking in users in India. The cost of subscribing to CAS or DTH is more than Rs. 3000 per TV set, and I think that’s going to deter consumers from switching, even if IPTV is a superior technology. With the likes of DishTV and Tata Sky advertising aggressively, and CAS deadlines slipping away, IPTV is fighting a losing battle.