Tata Play (stylized as TΛTΛ PLΛY, formerly TΛTΛ | Aakash) is an Indian Direct Broadcast Satellite (DTH) service provider using MPEG-4 digital compression technology, transmitted using INSAT-4A and GSAT-10 satellites. Incorporated in 2005; It currently offers a total of 601 channels, 495 SD channels and 99 HD channels and services and many other value added services. As of March 2020, Tata Play serves 22 million subscribers which is 33.37% of total DTH users in India, according to TRAI. Tata Play is India’s largest DTH service provider.
Tata Play has tied up with French firm Technicolor to supply 4K set-top boxes from early 2015.
Tata Sky was an equity strategic alliance in the nature of a joint venture between the Tata Group and 21st Century Fox, which owned 80% and 20% stake respectively until 2008, when Singapore-based Temasek Holdings picked up a 10% stake in Tata Play. From the Tata Group. Tata Sky was incorporated in 2001, but launched services on 8 August 2006.
Tata Sky’s parent company, 21st Century Fox, previously owned an international group of DTH businesses including Italy’s Sky Italia and the UK’s Sky UK. The company uses the Sky brand under license from Sky Group.
Tata Sky partnered with Ericsson in 2012 to launch India’s first video on demand (VOD) service.
On 9 January 2015, Tata Sky became the first Indian DTH operator to offer a 4K set-top-box to its customers.
On 20 March 2019, The Walt Disney Company completed its acquisition of 21st Century Fox, replacing 21st Century Fox as their new 30% shareholder.
On 26 January 2022, Tata Sky was rebranded to Tata Play as the company decided to drop the ‘Sky’ brand name after 15 years.
On 4 September 2022, Tata Sons and The Walt Disney Company India finally agreed to launch an initial public offering (IPO) for the company after multiple failed attempts in 2013, 2016 and 2019. It was also reported that Disney would likely offload a 10% stake. in the company (from the current 30%) to comply with cross-holding norms in media which state that there is a 20% equity limit for broadcasters investing in DTH companies.
Tata Play was the second operator to launch DTH or direct-to-home services in 2006. At that time, the company decided to use an ISRO satellite. In 2005, Tata Play signed an agreement with ISRO for the provision of satellite space on the INSAT-4A satellite. In 2007, a year after the launch of the DTH player, Tata Play sought more space to increase the number of channels they broadcast. Additional space was promised in 2009 on the GSAT-10 satellite, which would then be incorporated into the INSAT system. GSAT-10 was launched in September 2012, Tata Play started using those transponders in March 2015. INSAT-4A’s mission ended on 21 October 2019 Tata Play is using ISRO’s GSAT-30 satellite which is a replacement satellite of INSAT -4a.