Chennai: The free DTH service run by a Bermuda-based company ABS Free Dish has shut down its signals over India.The service used to be quite popular in the southern and eastern parts of India as the only other free DTH service other than DD Free Dish.
ABS Free Dish used to carry about a dozen or more television channels in each of the South Indian languages and Bangla that makes the free signal mongers to tune in to the services with cheap STBs that are freely floating I the market in order to enjoy watching channels free of cost.
Operation of ABS Free Dish was a major concern for the Indian DTH operators as the same was robbing off their potential subscriber base and causing considerable dent in their revenue prospects.
The government of India has been trying to shut down the free DTH service in the country for non-payment of license fees. However, it could do little, under international law, no country can stop any satellite operator from sending their signals into the country.
According to Indian laws, any company that wants to offer DTH services in the country has to pay around Rs 10 cr to the government. They also have to pay around 10% of their total revenue every year as license fees.
While ABS Free Dish has not officially announced the shut down, and it is also not clear whether it’s temporary or permanent.
However, it is possible to prevent local companies, such as channel broadcasters, from doing deals with such firms, which would affect their revenue model.
It is also possible that the shutdown may be temporary, due to technical reasons.
The exit of ABS from the scene has left many South Indian viewers without a viable free DTH option.This vacant situation could help Indian DTH operators who offer pocket friendly packagesthat will propel the subscribers to think in favor of opting one. In addition, it might also benefit DD Freedish, being the only Free DTH player to expand its base.