From spending ₹8300 per annum with Tata Sky for 1 TV, I have reduced my DTH / CableTV spend to ₹3100-3300 per annum. I had written this post first on 29th December 2018, but with TRAI introducing unbundling of channels, I had to update my packages with Tata Sky and this post too. 

Update information  – 3rd April 2019

The package I had selected in December, ₹199 Tamil HD plan, had been retired by Tata Sky. I had to individually select the channels I want, which I prefer, as I can get rid of the SD channels when the HD equivalents of them are available. In this arrangement, there is no HD tax that is added extra.

The DTH providers are now adding a Network Fee apart from the Channel fees (which I suppose goes to the broadcasters). Tata Sky’s Network fees for the first 100 channels that you select is Rs.153 per month – there is an option to pay this network fee individually for each channel, in my case for about 20+ channels I selected this option was not attractive and so I went with the basic 100 channels line item.

Posted on 29th December 2018

Three reasons that led to this:
1) A cheaper plan from Tata Sky – a ₹199 Tamil HD plan that offers about 99 Tamil Channels including SVBC, SVBC2, Sri Sankara, Sun TV HD & Vijay HD.
2) Removed all English entertainment and movies. I am consuming 100% of this through OTA providers – Netflix, Amazon Prime Video (I am anyway a Prime subscriber for getting free shipments), Hotstar (Free tier) & YouTube (Free).
3) Reduced NEWS and Knowledge channels to just 3 – BBC World Service, NDTV & HISTORY

My current subscriptions – TATA Sky DTH

Thanks to TRAI -Telecom Regulatory Authority of India to nudge (or order) DTH and Cable providers to offer a la carte channels. It may not be bad if this results in the hundreds of least watched / non-viable regional channels to close – hopefully with fewer channels, Quality of content will be better!

The second TV in the house used by my mom works with Videocon DTH, which I need to work on. Overall, I may be spending a similar amount with a gradual shift to OTA, but I am feeling better.

In many consumer surveys around the world, Mobile Companies (TELCOs) and DTH/Cable TV providers are hated by their consumers. In India, with the looming threat of Jio Broadband and OTA providers, the incumbents have a great opportunity to reinvent themselves starting with their customer support. They can become proactive – by making recommendations on what to watch, and helping consumers to save money by suggesting to turn off channels and plans they are not using.


I am looking forward to seeing how this landscape changes once Reliance Jio Broadband triple play gets rolled out broadly.

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