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Reliance Digital TV grows in Q4 after two flat quarters

MUMBAI: After remaining flat for two straight quarters, direct-to-home (DTH) operator Reliance Digital TV (RDTV) has shown growth in its subscriber base in the fiscal fourth quarter.

A wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliance Communications,  RDTV has added 100,000 subscribers in the fourth quarter to take its total subscriber base to 4.8 million, which is just eight per cent of the Indian DTH market.  RDTV has the lowest subscriber numbers among the six private DTH operators.

In the two trailing quarters, the RDTV had remained stagnant at 4.7 million subscribers.

The company had shown growth in the first quarter by adding 100,000 subscribers, thus taking its subscriber base to 4.7 million.

For the entire fiscal, RDTV has added 200,000 subscribers to take its subscriber base to 4.8 million compared to 4.6 million subscribers in the trailing fiscal.

In comparison, Airtel Digital TV (ADTV) had added 205,000 net subscribers in the fourth quarter while for the whole fiscal, it added 910,000 subscribers. As of 31 March 2014, the DTH operator had a  subscriber base of 9.01 million.

Dish TV is the biggest DTH operator with 11.2 million net subscribers as of 31 December 2013. A listed entity, Dish TV is yet to announce its fiscal fourth-quarter results.

According to RDTV, there has been a significant enhancement in the already stable product quality over the past 12 months. It also claimed that its STB failure rate of 0.7 per cent is among the best internationally and by far the best in India.

RDTV said it offers more than 260 channels in high definition (HD) like quality, including four exclusive movie channels and five interactive services, through MPEG4 technology. The DTH operator is available at more than 36,000 outlets across 8,366 towns in the country.

According to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), DTH operators have a registered subscriber base of 62.97 million of which 35.81 million are active subscribers and 27.16 million are inactive subscribers. This means that 43.13 per cent of the total subscribers are inactive.