Active subs base of pay DTH platforms increased 2.22% to 67.56 mn in Q3

MUMBAI: The active subscriber base of pay direct to home (DTH) has increased 2.22% to 67.56 million for the quarter ended 31 December as against 66.09 million in the trailing quarter, according to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) quarterly performance indicator report.

On a year-on-year basis, the total active subscriber has increased 7.83% from 62.65 million.

There are six pay DTH operators in the country namely Dish TV, Tata Sky, Bharti Telemedia, Videocon d2h, Sun Direct and Reliance Big TV. In addition, Doordarshan operates a free DTH platform Free Dish, which has around 24 million customers.

The market share of the six pay DTH platforms has remained unchanged compared to the previous quarter. Dish TV and Tata Sky are neck and neck with 24% share each. Bharti Telemedia is the third largest player with 21% share followed by Videocon d2h with 19% share. Sun Direct and Reliance Big TV hold 10% and 2% share of the market respectively.

It is pertinent to note that Dish TV and Videocon d2h have combined their businesses with effect from 22 March. The combined entity’s share is a whopping 43% of the total active pay DTH market.

The report further noted three new pay channels were launched while one free to air (FTA) channel was converted to pay. Of the three new pay channels, two were high definition (HD) and one was standard definition (SD).

AETN18 Media launched History TV18 HD while ZEEL launched Zee Tamil HD. Zee Media Corporation launched Zee Uttar Pradesh/Uttarakhand. FTA channel Jan TV Plus converted into a pay channel.

The report further stated that a total of 877 private satellite TV channels have been permitted by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) for uplinking only/downlinking/uplinking, as on 31 December 2017.

There were 304 pay channels as reported by 49 broadcasters as compared to 300 pay channels reported in the previous quarter. These 304 pay channels included 216 SD pay TV channels and 88 HD Pay TV channels.

Among cable TV platforms, GTPL KCBPL and Siti Networks carried the maximum number of channels at 437. Digicable carried the least number of channels 261. Siti Networks carried the most FTA channels at 198 while Kal Cable carried 254 pay channels, which is the highest by a cable TV platform. Hathway Sukhamrit and Fastway Transmission carried most local cable channels at 87.

As on 31 December 2017, there were 326 operational private FM Radio stations in 86 existing cities with operational 34 FM Radio broadcaster as compared to 322 private FM Radio Stations in 86 cities with operational 34 FM Radio broadcasters in the previous quarter. This is in addition to the radio Stations operated by All India Radio.

According to the reporting of advertisement revenue provided by the 34 FM Radio broadcasters, it has emerged that during the quarter ending 31st December 2017, 4 new private FM Radio Stations have become operational.

The reported advertisement revenue during the quarter ending December 2017 in respect of 325 private FM Radio stations is Rs 570.08 crore as against Rs 539.04 crore in respect of 322 private FM Radio stations for the previous quarter.

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