Dialog is facing a major issue these days and that is the lack of capacity. There are many subscribers who want several channels but Dialog is unable to deliver. Recently we carried out a poll on our FB page regarding the introduction of "Comedy Central" over "Sony beTV", even though "Sony beTV" came out on top as the most popular of the two channels, however the clear winner was the opinion that "both the channels are useless & Dialog should have gone for a better channel".
Dialog's problem is that when they give preference to one channel over another, they alienate a certain cross section of their subscriber base. Dialog you are not running a democracy, you are running a pay television company and anybody should be able to watch any channel of their choosing, provided it's available legally in the region of course.
There are people who want "Sirasa TV" and some who want "Comedy Central" and others who want "Sony beTV", then there are those who want "SET Asia", there are channels like "Big CBS Prime", etc that telecast reality shows like "Survivor" on par with the US broadcast and they telecast shows not normally telecast by channels like Star World India/Zee Cafe India. Not to mention there are people who want to able to watch God TV 24 hours a day and EWTN 24 hours a day. Nobody likes to be told by the pay television that they pay for the services rendered, that a channel that is available 24X7 can be watched only during certain hours of the day because they are unable to cater to the subscribers needs.
Dialog TV has a long way to go and cannot call themselves "The Future Today" since "the future" is not giving what they can, "the present" in pay television business is to telecast many channels and let the subscribers decide what he/she wants to watch. Dialog cannot provide "the present" so its a shame to talk about "the future".
Dialog has no choice but to increase transponder capacity. Recently Dialog TV tried to increase the number of channels in the HD pack and failed miserably when the quality of existing HD channels dropped, causing Dialog to remove some of the test channels. This only means that even the new transponder that carries a few HD channels plus a few non HD channels is now full to capacity.
Leasing new transponders costs money - lots of it - so Dialog should concentrate on moving to MPEG4 DVB2, which maybe expensive in the short run but as we have pointed out countless times, it has the potential of doubling or tripling the number of channels on the platform and increasing the subscriber base exponentially. With a move like this Dialog could add all the local channels, stop time sharing and assign each channel individual slots and add more channels.
Dialog is living dangerously, remember that the satellite has only a finite number of transponders and sooner or later they will run out of transponders and this would leave Dialog TV in the doldrums.
In addition we find it baffling that Dialog still wastes a slot called "Dialog Test" and has made no attempt to add a channel to that slot so far and its been over a year or two since that slot was vacated. All of this points to only one thing, Dialog is totally unprepared and it only takes a pay television company with a limited knowledge of the business to put Dialog TV out of business since it seems that those in charge of Dialog TV don't seem to be having even a "limited knowledge" of the business.
Please keep us updated on the latest on Dialog TV as the days progress.