Letter to DirectTV/Dish Network

Dear satellite TV providers,

First of all – CONGRATULATIONS! to India. What a nail biting finish.

Of course, thanks to your dumb policies, I had to listen to a live audio from the folks at theindicast.com( thanks guys, it was a lot of fun! I’ll be sure to donate.)

As India made their inspiring and unexpected way to the finals of the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup, satellite subscribers like me scrambled to find out if there was some way to get a live broadcast of the finals at a reasonable price. But thanks to the stranglehold WillowTV and the satellite companies have on the telecast rights, the only way I could do it was to subscribe to the entire package for $99.

Now I would love to watch as much Indian cricket as possible, but there is no way my thrifty Indian brain is going to process paying a 100 bucks for a single match. I am sure many of my countrymen feel the same way and would rather look for a bootleg telecast on the internet risking serious viral harm to their computers rather than shell out big bucks in the face of the Indian cricket team’s erratic form

Here’s what I suggest to the marketing geniuses at these companies – unbundle your services and offer each match on a pay-per-view basis. You can even institute a sliding scale – say $10 for the earlier matches and up to $25 for the semifinals and finals. Heck, even if you had priced each match at $20, you would have picked up so many fence sitters like me who would have paid to watch their own country play.

It’s just marketing 101. By targeting only the die-hard fans who can afford your exorbitant fees, you are cutting out a bulk of the market. Take a lesson from the FMCG companies who sell little shampoo sachets for Rs. 2 at the corner kirana. They understand the Indian mentality. It’s about time you figured it out too.


Vidya Pradhan

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