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France’s TPS Hopes Aggressive Pricing Will Pay Off

By | November 17, 2003

      The French satellite pay operator TPS believes an aggressive pricing policy will be one of the keys to its success going forward. It is particularly targeting consumers who may not be willing to spend huge amounts on pay-TV.

      Philippe Bony, deputy general manager of programs and services at TPS, told SATELLITE NEWS: “We have just launched two new packages, which are two first-tier packages, one is a thematic tier, which is named TPS Initial, including 10 channels. The price is 11 euros ($12.6). We have also launched direct access to our premium channel – TPS Star at the same price of 11 euros. Our objective here is to expand satellite subscriptions to new markets and to get new subscribers. We want to get these homes, which are still reluctant to get pay-TV in France.”

      This is not the only major pricing initiative TPS has. It is also allowing subscribers to sample its main premium Discovery package to tempt them. “Our objective is to be more aggressive in terms of pricing. In addition to that, when you start to pay for TPS services, we offer three months access to our Discovery package of services. This allows the user to get access to all the channels and services free for three months before choosing their subscription fee. We want to try and convince new subscribers to upgrade. They may want to stay at a package at 11 euros, but at the same time, we want them to discover the whole offer,” said Bony.

      TPS has made major investments in programming over the last 12 months. It has beefed up its sports coverage by adding national league basketball (a major sport in France). It has boosted other areas as it tries to put the pressure on the number one French pay-TV operator, Canal Satellite. “We have just launched new movie channels in September. There are now seven movie channels. We have made major investments to programming. We have done a recent deal with Warner as an example of investing in content to increase the quality of content on TPS,” Bony said.

      Another area where TPS has added coverage is in the youth market. According to Bony, this has been a major focus for the operator over the last year. “One year ago, we only had four children’s channels. Now, we have 11 youth channels and services. We have made major investments in the kid’s area. I now think our offer here is on the same level, and may be even better than the competing offer on Canal Satellite.”

      While TPS is being particularly aggressive in terms of its entry-level packages, it hopes and expects it will be able to move these customers to more premium packages.

      –Mark Holmes

      (Virginie Halleux Leprince, TPS, e-mail: )

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