The IPL 2019 is underway and DTH operators have been trying their best to increase viewership by offering special sports plans for subscribers. Popular DTH operators such as Airtel Digital TV, Tata Sky and Dish TV have come up with special channel bouquets that offer all the sports channels along with other essential channels at reasonable prices. However, with new TRAI regulations in place, operators are unsure of whether subscribers are going for the new packs or not. To keep viewers interested, Airtel and Tata Sky have come up with a new offer to draw subscribers to their TVs.
Both Tata Sky and Airtel Digital TV are offering a host of sports channels for free. The free channels are being provided to all subscribers across the country so as to increase the viewership of the IPL 2019 tournament. However, the sports channels will only be free for a limited period and subscribers will have to pay charges for those channels once the entitlement is over.
Tata Sky is offering a host of important sports channels that will provide coverage of the IPL 2019. The channels that Tata Sky is offering for free include Star Sports 1 Hindi, Star Sports 1 Tamil, Star Sports 1 Telugu, Star Sports 1 Kannada, and Start Sports 1 Bangla. The channels will be available for free from March 23 and will be brought back to the paid plans from May 20.
As for Airtel Digital TV, the operator is including these sports channels — Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 HD, Star, Sports 1 Hindi, Star Sports 1 Hindi HD, Star Sports 1 Telugu, Star Sports 1 Tamil, Star, Sports 1 Kannada and Star Sports 1 Bangla. However, Airtel will only be offering these channels for free until May 19. Unlike Tata Sky, Airtel is also including the HD versions of the popular sports channels, which makes it great for Airtel Digital TV HD subscribers.
The free channels are a way to gain back subscribers who were lost during the transition phase of the new TRAI DTH regulations. Since the new regulations were implemented from February 1, existing subscribers have taken to Twitter to complain about the higher prices. In comparison, the channel bouquets by operators have been offering more channels for similar prices. With online content streaming platforms going aggressive with their recharge plans, the move to offer sports channels for free comes across as a way to lure people back to the DTH TV connection.