Zihar Zuhair, chief manager content acquisition of Dialog Axiata in Sri Lanka revealed during an exclusive interview with NexTV India at the NexTV Series summit in Mumbai that Dialog TV is planning to launch its OTT platform in the coming months. Zuhair further disclosed that the content strategies for its OTT platform will be different from its DTH platform.
- Q.Can you give us a brief overview of Dialog Axiata activities in Sri Lanka?
- A. Dialog Axiata is Sri Lanka’s largest telecommunications service provider and commands more than 50% of the Sri Lankan mobile market. Dialog is a subsidiary of Axiata Group Berhad which owns 83.32% controlling stake of the company while the rest is held by the public. In April 2013 Dialog Axiata launched its mobile 4G LTE services.In addition to its core business of mobile telephony, the company operates a portfolio of services including Dialog TV, the country’s Direct To Home Satellite TV service and Dialog Global which provides international telecommunication services. Dialog Broadband offers fixed-line and broadband internet services, whilst Dialog Tele-Infrastructure is the company’s national telco infrastructure arm.Dialog Television operate around 120 channels focusing on news, entertainment and knowledge based programming. It provides international content including CNN, BBC, HBO, Cinemax, AXN, Star Sports, Discovery Channel, MTV and Cartoon Network, in addition to a portfolio of Sri Lankan television channel. As of December 2015, we have over 650,000 Dialog Television subscribers and looking forward to increase the number of subscribers with our channel expansion.
What are the content strategies of Dialog TV in Sri Lanka?
- A. Concerning Dialog TV content strategies, we have an open policy. In fact, Sri Lankan like a variety of content, we have content from India, Singapore, Hong Kong and from all around the world. We want to make sure that customers get the best of the content and a variety of content to choose. We try to cater for the different need of the subscribers, be it in term of sport contents, news or entertainment.
- Q.The OTT/VOD industry is booming up in India and in the SAARC region, is Dialog TV planning to join the bandwagon?
- A. Actually we are mainly in the DTH sector but as the OTT industry is heating up, we are also planning to launch our own OTT platform. We are working actively on the service and we are planning to launch out OTT apps in the coming months. As we are a core player in Sri Lanka in the telecommunication industry, we already have the network infrastructure needed and also we have the ability to regroup them. This will definitely be an advantage for us when we’ll be launching our OTT service.
- Q. What will be your content strategies for the OTT service, will it carry the same offer as your DTH platform?
- A. In fact, it’s a good question, my answer will be yes and no. Actually we’ll leverage on the best content that we have on our DTH platform plus we’ll bring some unique and exclusive content for the OTT platform. We are planning to have some local shows that we’ll be produced by us with the help of local production houses. Above all, we want our subscribers to have a variety of choice and content that best suit them. In fact, we have some constraints for our DTH platform in term of space for expansion and we want to fill this vacuum with our OTT offer. For sure, we’ll have different services and offer on our OTT platform.
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