Almost a year after Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Jio started a tariff war by providing free data to smartphone users, Reliance Digital TV seems to be planning something similar in the DTH segment. The company announced on Wednesday that it will offer its customers free access to an extensive range of HD channels for one year and up to 500 free-to-air channels for five years. Reliance Big TV will soon roll out new HD HE-VC set-top box, booking for which starts at 10 am on March 1.


Customers can log in on the Reliance Digital TV's official website ( and pre-book the set-top box. Initially, they will have to pay Rs 1,999 - Rs 499 as pre-booking charges and Rs 1,500 to be paid as 'booking charges'. The new customers will also have to pay Rs 250 as installation charges. The company, however, said it will give Rs 1,999 as cashback after two years of paid subscription.

Reliance Big TV currently offers 250 channels to its subscribers. With just 2 per cent of market share in the DTH TV segment, Reliance Big TV plans to boost its presence across the country. Experts suggest the latest gamble by the Veecon Media and Television-owned company could pay and help it capture the market with over 65.31 million DTH subscribers across India.


Apart from getting all HD channels for free, the set-top box will be equipped with features like a USB port, recording, YouTube among other things. The customers will also get 500 free-to-air channels for a period of five years. "Starting from today (Wednesday), entertainment comes effectively free of cost, with the latest offer by Reliance Big TV. Now every Indian household can enjoy high quality home entertainment and students can have free of cost access to education content with latest HD HEVC set Top box," said Vijender Singh, director, Reliance Big TV. Singh said the company's latest offer is aimed at supporting the Digital India Initiative.

What happens after free subscription?

The company on its website says "Reliance BIG TV announces freedom offer to provide digital TV to consumers 'free of cost'. Our offerings will include one year of paid channels and five years of free to air channels." After one year of subscription, Reliance Big TV customers will need to pay Rs 300 as monthly subscription. After the completion of two-year paid subscription, customers will receive Rs 1,999 as cashback, which will be credited in your account as 'recharge' amount.

Reliance Big TV seems to be emulating the 'effective pricing strategy' adopted by the telecom companies after the launch of Reliance Jio, which sold internet data on dirtcheap prices to its customers. The latest Big TV offer could also revolutionise the direct-to-home (DTH) market if it's able to capture the stagnant DTH market. The current offer from Reliance Big TV may also give jitters to its rivals like Tata Sky, Airtel DTH, Dish TV, etc. However, it's the customer who will benefit at the end. – Business Today