Mumbai: Sony Pictures Networks India has unveiled a clutch of channel packs ahead of the December 29 deadline by the TRAI for the introduction of new tariff plans for its channels.
Unlike the packages announced by other broadcasters, Sony does not have individual packages for each language as its channels are mostly in Hindi and English, though it does have a Marathi and a Bengali offering in Regional Languages. Instead, Sony has structured smaller packs for those interested only in Sports and those interested only in international or English channels.
In terms of pricing, the bigger packs are similar to those of Zee and Star, and overall prices range from Rs 19 to Rs 90. While Star has divided their packs into two tiers, Sony has gone for a four-tier division, including one dedicated exclusively for sports. Star, the other big sports broadcaster, has not provided exclusive sports packs, but expect users to subscribe to mega packages of all channels to get access to sports channels.
Sony has two sports packs namely Sixer, priced at 39 and Sixer HD, priced at Rs 59. Both come with all five sports channels from the Sony family — including Six, Sony ESPN, Ten 1, Ten 2 and Ten 3. The channels are in their high-definition avatar in the HD pack, while the other bouquet offers regular variants.
Besides the sports packs, Sony offers three tiers of channels — Platinum, Gold and Silver, in both SD and HD versions. The Silver packs are targeted at Hindi-speaking audiences, and come with all the Hindi channels of the broadcaster, including the flagship SET, SAB, Max, Max 2, Wah and Pal. It also comes with the kids-oriented Yay! as well as regional channels Sony Marathi and Aath in relevant markets.
The SD version of the Silver package is priced at Rs 31, while the HD version will set you back by Rs 63 per month. The Gold packs, which come only in SD versions, are different beasts, depending on the market.
In South India, the Gold pack comes with two extra international channels — AXN and Pix — and two extra sports channels — Six and Ten 1. The North Indian version of Gold gets channels like SET Max, SAB, Pal and Sony Marathi in place of the two English and two sports channels.
Both versions of Gold also contain Sony’s Hindi channels such as Mix, SET and Max 2, as well as BBC Earth. The South Indian version of Sony Gold is priced at Rs 35 and the other one at Rs 31.
Finally, there is the Platinum pack, which is priced at Rs 69 for the SD version and Rs 90 for the HD version. The pack contains all the channels of Sony, including HD channels in case of the Platinum HD pack.
In addition to these, Sony has also come out with a Special HD pack, called Premium HD, for those HD users who are not interested in its Hindi or regional offerings. The Premium HD pack, which is likely to appeal to South Indian audiences, costs Rs 50 per month and comprises only the English and Sports HD channels of the company, along with Yay! for the kids. Yay! comes with audio in many South Indian languages.
Sony’s pack prices are not that different from its individual channel prices. For example, the total cost of all the HD channels — if taken a-la Carte or one-by-one, works out to Rs 103 per month, while the cost of the Platinum HD pack is Rs 90 per month.