Sun Direct adds 41 new channels including 9 in HD

Sun Direct, the Chennai-based DTH operator continued to add new channels to its platform over the past week, taking the total new ones to 41, including 9 in high definition.

The new HD channels added include DSport, Zee Telugu, Colors Bangla, Discovery JEET and Fox Life.

The new standard definition channels added include Madha Tv, Sathiyam TV, Discovery Science, Discovery Turbo, PTC Punjabi, PTC News and Imayam (see picture).

The additions are part of Sun Direct’s expansion of its channel line-up after the acquisition of four new transponders on a newly launched satellite, Measat 3b.

With the latest additions, the DTH player now has 69 HD channels and around 258 standard definition channels.

Under Indian laws, companies are not allowed to buy satellite capacity directly from overseas providers. Instead, they have to put a request to the Department of Space, which then allocates the spectrum on its own satellites if possible, or on foreign satellites if not.

Sun Direct has been facing a severe spectrum crunch due to a fire on an ISRO satellite that knocked out most of its satellite capacity in 2010.

The fire forced the company to move satellite to Malaysian-owned Measat 3A, and manually realign the dish antennae of millions of its customers.

However, Measat launched a second satellite at the same location in 2014, boosting its capacity.

Sun Direct was widely expected to book extra capacity on the new satellite, particularly after it lost a sharing deal three months ago with Reliance Digital TV. Reliance Digital TV changed hands when the Anil Ambani Group sold it to another group as part of a fire sale.