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Bachchans Brand Ambassadors for Big TV

Big B signs Big Entertainment dealBig TV and Big B - Amitabh Bachchan unite to form a massive joint venture for Rs 1500 crore to focus on creating original products in the field of movies, TV, Internet, mobile and live shows.

The Bachchan family - Amitabh, Abhishek, Aishwarya - is considered to be the most popular Bollywood family, and this deal would give Big Entertainment an edge over others.

Anil Ambani group Reliance Big Entertainment will look at the business aspect of the deal that would include providing managerial resources, marketing and the distribution of projects, while the Bachchans' AB Corp would come up with the creative inputs and would be handling the entertainment aspect of the project.

This move is in line with making Big Entertainment a global media and entertainment company. Reliance Big Entertainment has already made inroads into the US market with the launch of a chain of over 200 Indian movie theaters, and a slew of investments in Hollywood companies.

Now Anil Ambani is in talks with Dreamworks, the movie studio founded by mogul Steven Spielberg and David Geffen, to strike a deal worth $550 million. If the deal goes through it would help Reliance group's chairman, Anil Ambani realize his global ambitions. It sure will be a BIG venture.
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Big TV to be Launched in July

Reliance Big TV to be launched in JulyThe wait is over, Big TV will finally be launched in July, according to sources in Reliance Communications. The impending launch will intensify the DTH market which is expected to dominate 40% of the pay TV universe by 2015.

To generate more interest prior to the launch, Big TV site says, "For as little as under Rs 100 a month, you can get over dozens of digital as well as pay-per-view channels and much more."

According to recent reports, customers will have to pay only Rs 1,000 upfront for a Big TV connection, making it the cheapest DTH player in the country. Reliance plans to offer over 250 TV channels, which is more than any other DTH operator, with 30 exclusive movie on-demand channels within a month of its launch.

The Anil Ambani group also signed a contract with India's famous Bollywood actors - the Bachchan family - in a bid to work together in the areas of movies, live shows, TV, internet and mobile entertainment. Its a possibility that Abhishek Bachchan would endorse Big TV. Reliance Comm is certainly making inroads into the DTH market with bang, but it remains to be seen whether they can sustain in this highly competitive market, and more imporatantly whether Big TV lives up to the expectations of millions of consumers.
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Big Broadcasting Ties up with AsiaSat

AsiaSat 3SThe day when Big TV launches is getting closer as now Reliance ADAG has finalized the deal with AsiaSat to transmit its TV channels via their satellites.

AsiaSat 3S is supposedly one of Asia's premium satellite broadcasting companies. Big TV DTH will be using the companies C-brand transponder to deliver its expanding range of channels to its subscribers.

Ashutosh, COO, reliance, Big broadcasting, said, "One of our key objectives is to bring to our audience a unique, world class and unprecedented TV viewing experience. Placing our satellite television services on AsiaSat 3S, Asias premium platform for satellite television enables us to establish in the shortest time possible a seamless broadcast network accessing all our targeted cable homes."

"By using AsiaSat 3S, the most popular satellite platform for the Indian media market, we gain immediate access to all cable head ends across India. We are proud to have AsiaSat as our partner as it has a powerful satellite fleet offering the most comprehensive coverage and largest audience access that fully support our aggressive broadcast plan in India," he added.

Peter Jackson, ceo, AsiaSat, said, "Big broadcasting is an impressive addition to AsiaSat's expanding list of blue-chip customers. We are thrilled to be selected as the satellite partner of one of India's most dynamic and biggest broadcast ventures. It is evident that AsiaSat offers real value to premium broadcasters who look for service quality and access to their target markets in the Asia-Pacific."
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Big TV Purchases Set Top Boxes in Bulk

Set Top BoxEverything seems rather big with Big TV, Reliance seems to have placed an order for 5 million set top boxes in an attempt to make them cost as much as a MPEG-2 set top box that its competitors sell in the country.

Reliance ADAG has placed orders from vendors in Korea, China and Taiwan at a cost that's lower than the market price by around 25% this would help them sell their STBs at similar if not lower prices than the ones being sold in India.

Big Entertainment has already acquired 2.5 lakh STBs and the remaining amount is expected to reach them in a couple of weeks. There will be a variety of STB models including some with video recording facility in an inbuilt memory disk or DVD drive.

Recording-enabled set-top boxes will allow a user to record any program even when no one is present at home. Reliance has set a team to procure these models as per their target market, to also tune and modify features as per feedback provided by their customers.

Although all this sounds really good on paper there has not been much news over the Internet, on the set top boxes performance. Although there are some complaints of the set top box overheating and channels hanging while they are being changed, is this the reason why the Big TV launch has been postponed yet again?
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Big TV Likely to be Launched on June 24th

The DTH market is abuzz with speculations that Reliance Big TV will be officially launched on June 24th. Currently, Big TV is being used by around 50,000 customers, who are Reliance employees and customers of associate companies. According to a news report, the teaser campaigns will be aired on televisions four days prior to the launch with actor Abhishek Bachchan used as a brand ambassador. Take a peek into the commercial of Big TV, tagged as the biggest project in India.

The company is believed to have finalised over 1.25 lakh retail outlets across 4500 towns in the country to give a push to its DTH venture. Catering at these retail outlets will be over 700 distributors and around 500 installation & service partners have been roped in to cater to 25-30 installations per partner, per day.

According to the 2008 Ficci-PwC report on Indian entertainment and media industry, DTH households are expected to grow from 4 million in 2007 to 25 million by 2012. That comes as no surprise with new players like Bharti and Sun TV to enter this space.

Tata Sky and Dish TV share about 4.5 million subscribers between themselves, and due to heated competition both the companies have been busy wooing consumers with offers at reduced prices and attractive packages.
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Big TV Reaches for the Sky with Jet

Reliance Big TV to offer DTH service in Jet's in-flight entertainmentThe DTH segment is really heating up. Following the footsteps of Dish TV, who became the first operator to install their DTH services in Kingfisher Airlines, Reliance Big TV is now in talks with Jet Airways to offer live feed of channels to its passengers.

According to industry sources, Reliance ADAG would be partnering with an Israel-based technology company for the same. That will replace Jet's current in-flight entertainment system JetScreen, which offers video on demand on its domestic and international flights.

The company has already placed an order of about 5 million set-top boxes and is expected to be launched officially end of June. Reliance is also in talks with BBC Entertainment to add more channels to its existing list of 150 channels. Industry sources believe that the Big TV is expecting to grab a market share of about 5 million consumers in the next 18-19 months.

How easy would that be for Reliance Big TV, as its competitor Dish TV recently announced the launch of its DTH services on-board luxury train 'Palace on Wheels', a Goan cruise liner and on Ashok Leyland buses. Before that it will have conduct a test run on some on some bogies of Northern Railway. This will definitely give Dish TV a much wider reach.

As per Ernst & Young, 28% of the 100-million pay-television households will migrate to DTH. Currently, DTH subscriber base is pegged at 3.5-million subscribers and is expected to increase to 19 million by 2010.
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Big TV in Talks with BBC Entertainment

BBCWhile the other DTH providers are squabbling, Big TV is making silent but steady moves in the background to gain not only channel strength but to provide a massive amount of varied content to its users.

The essence of a successful DTH launch for Big TV will be to boast a huge amount of channels that will draw a line, dividing itself from the other DTH players in the market. To boost this effort Big TV chose a higher level of compression that's the Mpeg-4, what this means is, in the same amount of Bandwidth Big TV will be able to provide more channels as compared to the existing DTH players in the market.

Tata Sky, recently filed a petition with the fair trade regulator, Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission (MRTPC), alleging Dish TV’s free set-top box offer as being an "anti-competitive" and "deceptive" act. The counsel appearing for Tata Sky alleged that Zee group-promoted Dish TV claimed in its advertisement campaign in print and electronic media that its STB were being given for free, which was not the case.
BBC Entertainment Forum
While Tata Sky and Dish TV, wage the battle in court Reliance ADAG who had recently implemented BBC World in the month of May has been negotiating with the British Broadcasting Corporation for the BBC Entertainment channels to add to their list of channels.

When the negotiation will be completed is not know, but according to the administrator of the Indian BBC Entertainment forum, they are keen on distributing their packages on the Reliance DTH Platform as well.

If this deal works out, this will push the numbers up of channels on Big TV to up to 160 channels.
Read more » Big TV in Talks with BBC Entertainment