India’s cable welcomes HITS

Earlier this week we wrote about India’s new digital Headend in the Sky (HITS) service from Subhash Chandra’s Wire & Wireless India Ltd (WWIL). The digital aspect is part of the temptation to persuade India’s cable-wallahs to convert to digital transmission. There’s another significant prize for those that convert – instant movies.
HITS is talking to movie studios about gaining rights to show the latest movies, Bollywood as well as Hollywood, on its system. The advantage to the studios is they get instant VOD revenue-sharing cash, and most importantly piracy is reduced.

Besides WWIL (which used to be known as Siti Cable) there’s enthusiasm from Incablenet, the Hinduja brothers MSO that supplies about one third of India’s cable homes. Hinduja already make movies. "Once the HITS policy is in place, we will explore the possibility to release films via cable and will talk to production houses," said Ravi Manuskhani, MD of Incablenet, talking to local journalists.

"We are ready to launch HITS-based telecast any time. We already have the HITS licence," said a senior official at WWIL, which is reportedly ready with digitalisation in five cities including Lucknow, Ludhiana and Chandigarh. HITS has taken capacity on AsiaSat 4 in order to beam digital signals direct to the nation’s cable operators.