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2.18 mn STBs seeded in Phase III areas of AP and Telangana

MUMBAI: Major distributions platforms like cable TV, direct-to-home (DTH) and headend-in-the-sky (HITS) have collectively seeded 2.18 million set-top boxes (STBs) in digital addressable system (DAS) Phase III areas of Telugu speaking states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

Having seeded 1.15 million STBs in the two states, multi-system operators (MSOs) are marginally ahead of DTH. While DTH operators have deployed 1.01 million STBs, HITS service providers are way behind with just 12,980 STBs seeded.

Currently, there are only two HITS operators, namely Hinduja Group’s NXT Digital and Jain TV Group’s JAINHITS.

The information was provided by the MIB following an RTI enquiry seeking details of STBs seeded in the two states.

As per the MIB’s updated list for total households covered under DAS Phase III in each state, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana had 2.05 million and 0.86 TV homes respectively.

total STBs seeded in phase III telangana and APMIB Joint Secretary R Jaya recently told the DAS Task Force members that the percentage achievement of DAS Phase III has increased to 90.44% as on 15 February 2016 from 76.45% as on 30 December 2015, as per MIS data.

Jaya also stated that the STB seeding by MSOs has increased to 12.43 million for the period ended 15 February from 6.91 million for the period ended 30 December 2015. After various updates, DAS Phase III covers 33.18 million TV households across 29 states and five Union Territories.

It is pertinent to note that Hyderabad High Court had granted a two-month stay on DAS Phase III implementation due to shortage of STBs. The stay was recently extended by another four weeks.

The MIB has challenged the stay orders across the country in the Supreme Court. The petition is slated for hearing on 11 March.