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Dish TV launches in Sri Lanka with 47 channels

MUMBAI: Dish TV has launched its operations in Sri Lanka, becoming the first Indian direct-to-home (DTH) company to bat in overseas land.

Dish TV is offering 47 channels in various genres for LKR 249 (Sri Lankan rupee) per month (plus taxes). These include 13 Sinhalese channels, six Tamil channels, four devotional channels, two English news channels and a clutch of Indian channels, among others.

The set-top box (STB) is priced at LKR 3,990. Inclusive of the 27.5 per cent telecommunication levy, the monthly charge per subscriber will be LKR 317.

Dish TV is initially offering two months free subscription. Subscribers can recharge their connection with minimum of Rs 250 every month.

Dish TV has invested $4.5 million in the venture so far. There could be an additional investment of $2 million. The investment requirement in the Sri Lanka project is not substantial, a Dish TV executive clarified.

Dish TV Lanka is a joint venture company with Satnet Pvt Ltd. While Dish TV holds 70 per cent stake in the JV, the rest is with local partner Satnet.

In November last year, Dish TV had got the licence from the Sri Lankan government to launch the DTH service in the island nation. The company has purchased land and created an uplinking facility near Colombo.

In an earlier interaction, Dish TV CEO RC Venkateish had told TelevisionPost.com that Sri Lanka is a 20-million market. “The ARPU is high, and there is zero subsidy. It is a highly profitable model. It does not require much incremental investment, nor do we require an additional satellite.”

Dish TV Lanka will compete with Dialog TV, which has average revenue per user (ARPU) of $9. Dialog TV, a subsidiary of telecom major Dialog Axiata, dominates the Sri Lankan pay TV market.

As reported earlier by TelevisionPost.com, Dish TV will have a dedicated transponder on SES’ new satellite for the Sri Lanka DTH service. Dish TV will use the same encryption and STB vendors for the Sri Lankan operations. Conax will be the content protection partner and MPEG-4 STBs will be used.

Click here for the list of channels

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Dish TV is first Indian DTH firm to turn profitable at net level