x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Etisalat offers cut-price TV in drive to increase subscribers

Etisalat plans to cut the price of its television service in an effort to double subscriber numbers. It hopes to boost its eLife TV subscriber base, which currently stands at about 120,000.

Etisalat says it will offer a premium TV package free for six months to those subscribing to its fastest broadband services. Jaime Puebla / The National
Etisalat says it will offer a premium TV package free for six months to those subscribing to its fastest broadband services. Jaime Puebla / The National

Etisalat plans to cut the price of its television service in an effort to double subscriber numbers.

The UAE operator says it hopes to significantly boost its eLife TV subscriber base, which currently stands at about 120,000.

In a new promotion, Etisalat says it will offer a premium TV package free for six months to those subscribing to its fastest broadband services.

Rashid Majid Al Abbar, the vice president of home products marketing for Etisalat, said an "aggressive" TV promotion will be available later this month. "There is a very good take-up of our TV services but still some customers are reluctant."

The operator says it will offer a free six-month TV subscription worth Dh138 a month to new subscribers, as well as existing customers who upgrade.

The package will include a basic TV subscription of 80 channels worth Dh40 a month, a Dh40 credit to spend on "video on demand", and a choice of one of five new "premium" channel packages worth Dh58.

The five premium packages will be themed under Arabic, Filipino, western, sports and Asian categories, Mr Al Abbar said. They will include channels from broadcasters such as OSN, Al Jazeera Sport and Zee TV.

Customers must sign up to the TV, broadband and landline package for one year to get the offer of six months' free television.

The TV promotion will be open to customers subscribing to Etisalat's 8, 16 or 30 Mbps (megabits per second) broadband and landline packages, which cost between Dh299 and Dh499 per month. A basic package excluding the premium channels and video on demand will also be available to subscribers to the 1Mbps broadband.

Etisalat has about 120,000 television subscribers on its eLife service.

The operator hopes to double this number through the promotion, said Ramiro Ruiz, the director of television at Etisalat UAE. "Our target is at least doubling the current base we have, maybe more than doubling it."

Etisalat also has an additional 60,000 television subscribers to its older cable service, known as eVision.

Matthew Reed, a senior analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media in Dubai, said Etisalat had previously voiced concern over its TV subscriber numbers. "They were saying they were behind where they had to be in terms of subscribers."

bflanagan@thenational.ae

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