Tata Sky is set to cancel channels or subscription packs for about 70 lakh subscribers to retain them on its direct-to-home (DTH) platform. The new move, which will come into effect from June 15, is aimed to help customers who aren't able to pay their regular subscription charges due to the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak in India. Tata Sky is giving a 15 days' notice to all the customers for whom it is rationalising the subscription. The operator noticed that almost 70 percent of its 50 lakh subscribers logged in to the Tata Sky website or the app last month to either cancel their subscriptions or reduce their monthly bills.
The latest development is apparently aimed at retaining customers with monthly billing of Rs. 350 or less. Tata Sky hasn't provided any details around the particular customers who will face cancelation or changes in their existing subscription packs. However, in a statement to Gadgets 360, a Tata Sky spokesperson said that it would use its analytics engine to identify the customer segment for the rationalisation. "We would like to help our subscribers rationalise their monthly Tata Sky bill by optimising their pack/channel selection," the spokesperson said in an emailed statement.
Tata Sky will additionally provide a way to let customers re-subscribe to a dropped channel or pack directly by giving a missed call to a predefined number. “Over time, we expect normalcy to return and pack subscriptions to follow suit,” the spokesperson added.
Amid the coronavirus lockdown in India, Tata Sky lost over 15 lakh subscribers, reported Livemint. The new move is, thus, said to help the selected subscribers save Rs. 60 to Rs. 100 per month. Nevertheless, it is unclear whether the development would help convince customers to retain their DTH subscription as television in the country is already facing a drop in viewership due to various reasons, including the increased adoption of watching content online.
Tata Sky Managing Director Harit Nagpal told The Economic Times last week that its 10 lakh inactive subscribers came back to the platform in March, once the lockdown was imposed by the government, though 10 lakh went out in April and another five lakh didn't recharge in May.
Brought initiatives to improve drop-outs
In late March, Tata Sky introduced a seven-day balance loan for deactivated user accounts to help bring them back to the platform. The company also in April tied up with Citibank to offer two months of free service on its annual recharge. Furthermore, Tata Sky — alongside other DTH service providers — brought free access to service channels during the initial phase of the lockdown.
All those moves were planned to retain the user base. However, it seems like Tata Sky ultimately has to go with the rationalisation exercise to remain active in the competition that has Airtel Digital TV and Dish TV as the two other key players.
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