BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the public broadcaster, has signed a deal with Indian’s DTH platform Tata Sky that will allow it to launch VOD services for the first time in India. A BBC-branded area on the Tata Sky platform will offer both SVOD and TVOD services in eight Indian cities for BBC fare such as Luther, The Honourable Woman and Burton and Taylor.
“In a study commissioned by BBC Worldwide earlier this year, we found that quality of content, British humour, and a love of original British dramas were the top reasons why people, including Indians, enjoy British television programmes,” said Myleeta Aga, SVP and GM of BBC Worldwide in India. “We are very excited to be working with Tata Sky to bring these award winning and high quality programmes, many never before seen in India, to Tata Sky’s subscribers, where they can access them anytime, anywhere.”
International media firms are increasingly making their moves into the lucrative VOD market in India. Jeff Bezos’ e-commerce giant Amazon is doubling down on its presence in India by launching its Prime service in the country. In December last year, Amazon hired former Sony exec Nitesh Kripalani to oversee its content strategy in the populous South Asian country. Amazon also plans to launch its Amazon Instant Video platform later this year and is currently in negotiations with content providers. With less regulatory hurdles than China, the online landscape for India has the likes of Amazon and other western companies salivating. A recent study by Indian industry body ASSOCHAM and PricewaterhouseCoopers forecast India’s e-commerce industry growing from $17 billion to potentially $100 billion within five years. It also projected an increase of 67% in average annual spending on online purchases in 2015 alone.