From April 1, 2010, Sun Network’s two free-to-air Malayalam channels, Surya TV and Kiran TV will be converted into paid. Surya TV is the general entertainment channel (GEC) whereas Kiran TV is the 24-hour music channel.
The move is an attempt to revive its viewership, confirmed the Sun Network’s officials. The officials further added, “The two channels have been most viewed channels since our launch in Kerala. Up to 2007, we held the No. 1 position in the state; and in the past couple of years, we have been at the No. 2 position. This is our attempt at regaining the same position.”
“Initially, some resistance will be there; but at the end of the day, those who want to watch a channel will be willing to pay for it. So, as we go ahead with our plans, we will take the necessary measures,” said the executive.
The two channels, as a bouquet, will be priced at Rs 20.33 per subscriber per month in non-CAS areas; while in CAS areas, the price would be Rs 5.35 per channel per month.
Sun TV Network, one of the largest television broadcasters in India, operates 20 satellite television channels across four languages — Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam. The company had earlier announced in 2006, that its flagship channels would be converted into pay channels. Out of twenty, only three to four are free-to-air currently.
Paid channels account for a 14-15 per cent of the overall revenue of Sun Network.