Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Dialog TV takes Sri Lanka by storm - The Nation (April 22nd 2007)

Based on cutting edge technology, Dialog TV took Sri Lanka by storm with its state-of-the-art satellite digital video broadcasting, DVD quality picture, stereo quality sounds, and its line-up of top channels.

Turning around the trend of television viewing in Sri Lanka, DialogTV, with its tag line of "Wake Up To The Next Generation Of Satellite TV", boasts a wide range of international content, including CNN, BBC, HBO, Cinemax, AXN, ESPN, Discovery Channel, MTV (Music Television) and Cartoon Network, amongst many others.

Dialog TV is operated by Asset Media, a subsidiary of Dialog Telekom Limited. Heading the Dialog TV team is Dialog Telekom General Manager (Sales and Marketing) Nushad Perera.

In an interview with The Nation, Perera said that Dialog Telekom has now become a quadruple player. The company is the first in South Asia, to enter the quadruple player field “boasting of a mobile operation, a fixed line operation, a broadband operation, and a media operation".

Speaking of the challenges faced by DialogTV, Perera said that challenges included reinstating confidence in customers, after the suspension, re-awakening the whole organization, because it had been in limbo, and taking the product to the hands of the consumer.

Elaborating on the challenge of taking the product to the consumer, Perera said, Traditionally, viewers don't pay to watch TV. We are coming in with a game plan, saying here is a television media where you have to pay, to watch TV. Then, we have to build massive value, to attract the consumer.

In order to do this, Dialog TV structured the product into three categories “Super 500 with 16 channels, Great 900 with 25 channels and Value 1400 with 29 channels", plus the local channels.

We recently got the ICC World Cup, which was the main puller. We spent a lot of money on that. There was no return on investment, because we paid a massive amount, to get the rights. However, we chose to do so as a confidence building mechanism. It was also a way of telling the consumers that we are here permanently, added Perera.

Dialog TV is now moving into adding more and more channels into the network. There is space in the satellite. We had two transponders and both of them are full, so, we have now bought two more transponders. Therefore, we can add more channels and improve the quality even further, explained Perera.

When Dialog TV took over CBN Sat, there were 10,000 subscribers. Dialog TV has managed to increase the number of subscribers to 22,000 within three months. The company is currently adding 4,000 customers a month.

Explaining the rationale behind the buy one, get one free spot promotion, Perera said, That was a loss to us, because we are giving the equipment free. However, we wanted to test certain price points. We found the results overwhelming, which meant that consumers were willing to pay about Rs. 9,000 for the connection.

Dialog TV has also taken the step of investing in distribution and installation. Distribution is vis-Ã -vis all Dialog centres, of which, there are around 300 across Sri Lanka.

Dialog TV also formed 50 fully trained and skilled installation crews operated by Dialog TV to carry out installations for customers. A team comprises of two people plus a vehicle. Once a customer's payment is realised, Dialog TV provides the connection within three days.

Dialog TV has also been successful in getting large enterprises in Sri Lanka, including 95% of Sri Lanka's star class hotels, connected to DialogTV. This includes John Keells Resorts, Aitken Spence Group, Confifi, Trans Asia, Cinnamon Grand, Hilton, etc.

We have also connected most of the apartment complexes. We have a dedicated enterprise solution, where we run a single cable and connect all the apartments, added Perera.

As for signal quality, Perera said, What we must emphasise is that, with satellite TV, rain degrades the signal quality to a certain extent. When there is heavy rain, signals do not penetrate. This is a worldwide phenomenon beyond the control of Dialog TV. In Sri Lanka, by and large, this is limited to 10 to 20-minute spells.

Another challenge faced by Dialog TV was to motivate the staff. We put the cart before the horse, where we showed the staff the potential of the product and we infused some of Dialog GSM's key players into the organisation. Key people were brought into the organisation from many divisions and we infused the Dialog energy into the defused CBN Sat, asserted Perera.

As for the challenge of instilling confidence in the people, while the Dialog name itself created a lot of confidence in the product, people were skeptical whether Dialog could carry it through, after the events that led to the closure, said Perera.

Therefore, the Dialog technical team did a complete study of the system and Dialog TV partnered only its very reliable business partners.

We made it a point to ensure that it was absolutely ethical and honest, in all the dealings we carried out. We were transparent with any organisation. We also obtained all the clearances and catered to all the legal requirements, Perera emphasised.

So, what's next from DialogTV? More channels coming in. You could expect us to bring in the digital experience into television. Right now, people are not accustomed to seeing good quality, high definition TV. We are on a pilot project now, results of which we could announce within four weeks. Then, we can bring in a high definition digital experience into television, Perera pledges.

Dialog TV also plans to increase the number of channels to about 50, by the end of the year and provide value for money. We will continue to provide value for money. That has been Dialog's framework. It's in our blood. We can promise that, if we offer a discount for any of our new packages, it will be extended across the board to all existing subscribers, he concluded.

By Marianne David
The Nation

3 comments:

N300 said...

Nushad perera has always being a big talker.I remember when I was doing CIM,he used to lecture us for the Case study.He had such a big mouth even those days(May be 99/2000)
Also recently he claimed that their cricket transmission would be free of advertiesements.However Sony Max was much more irritating than local Channels when it comes to ads.
Lets wait until they deliver before jumping into conclutions.
Also their Buy 1 get 1 free offer was very unfair for the genuine TV entusiasts who had spent 18000 rupees.Dialog should compensate these customers through someway I feel

Sinhala Guy Sri Lanka said...

@amalka

AV Transmitter ekak DTV decorder ekata conec karaganna hati step by step
insruction oyata dennam.

Therena widihata oya mokak hari waraddak karagena thiyenwa.

*AV Transmitter eka UHF/VHF ekakda kiayala sure karaganna

*issella AV Transmitter(AVT) ekata power dena hati balanna. PowerPack ekak
use karanawa nam eke voltage ekai +/- i hariyata select karala thiyanawada balanna.
( Me gana mokak hari awlak thiyenawa nam Plz comment here )

*AVT eke power switches on karala thireda kiyala sure karaganna.

*AVT eka eriyal eka digarinna.

*DTV Decorder eka on karagena. Kamathi TV Channel ekak daganna.

*DTV decoder eke VIDEO output eka AVT eke Video input ekata denna.

*DTV decorder eke Mono Audio output eka AVT eke Audio input ekata denna.

*DTV dec. eka on ekema thiyanawada kiyala sure karaganna.

*Computer ekata kalin oyage TV eka tune karala signal enawada balanna.

*Enawanam PC eke TVcard eka tune karala balanna.

PC ekata witharak signal recive wenne nathnam TVcard eke awlak wenna puluwan.
Distance eka ganath care karanna.

Amalka said...

@Sinhala Guy Sri Lanka

thanx a lot.i'l do it & if i have any problam i'll tell u