Marketing Idea No. 139 – How to create a great local cable tv business

For all the debate on “the impact of western culture and satellite channels” in our country, cable TV  has completed its 15th year of purposeful existence in this country. From the tyranny of one state owned channel, we are truly liberated through the power of remote control. And behind this works the suppliers who are working to bring global entertainment closer to us than ever before. They are of course, the small cable TV operators in our country.

 From the clutches of a few big companies, cable TV service providers have really broken free and now mushrooming all over the nation. But like all services related technology, they are also working in a business where there is little, if any, differentiation is taking place. So far the only war that took place was the war of channels – how many channels can each cable tv operator can provide to its subscribers. But that itself has reached a snag as just about all cable operators are providing the same channels in the same way. Quantity is no longer an issue. And these operators are in dire need of finding a new frontier.

If any cable TV operator cant create any significant value innovation, then once the “Local Politics” of blocking new entrant is taken care of, none is stopping the Cable TV operator of one geographical location to hunt in its neighbouring location and take away the subscribers from that region. What can really stop them? So far the only thing that’s stopping them, as mentioned before, is the political hold that that particular cable operator is enjoying in his home area. It would be fool to believe that that hold will last forever.

So the only way to fight this war for cable operators is to continuously offer new and new services in its area. Why limit to cable tv only? Why not use the same infrastructure to provide broadband internet services?

In fact one really unique service that these operators can offer is “recording favorite programs”. Through this service cable TV operators can record any program that is requested by a particular subscriber, store it in its server and show it later on in its own channel where he usually shows  recent movies from DVDs in exchange of a small monthly fee from that particular subscriber. Just think about how beneficial that would be for people who are always afraid of not being able to see the latest episode of his favorite soap opera or TV series due to load shedding or for staying out of house at that time! This kind of video on demand service can really be a win-win situation for the cable operators as well as us subscribers.

But most importantly, this will ensure that they are continuously offering new things that others are not offering and thus minimizing its probability of losing its business to bigger competition.

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