Consumers have chosen a mix of a la carte, DPO packs and broadcaster bouquets, says Dish TV’s Anil Dua

MUMBAI: Dish TV India Group CEO Anil Dua has said that the customers are watching a mix of a la carte channels, distribution platform operator (DPO) packs and broadcaster bouquets in the new tariff regime.

Dua also stated that the transition phase is over and the TV distribution industry has finally settled down.

“Consumers are now watching the packs that they want to watch. It’s a combination of à la carte channels that they have chosen, the DPO packs that we have provided and, of course, also the broadcaster bouquets, which are part of those packs. So, that’s on the first one that customers are taking a combination of various things to their liking, to their choice, to their price point,” Dua told analysts during Q1 earnings conference call.

The Dish TV CEO noted that certain consumers are spending less than what they were spending earlier. On the other hand, some consumers are spending more than what they were spending earlier.

“So, as we had said in the past that there are customers, a little less than half, who have gone for a price point lower than what it was earlier and a little more than half have gone for a price point which was higher than earlier. But the good thing is that with cricket and election season and other things during the quarter, they have also added on channels on top of that. We have to now see as we go forward how to build upon this,” Dua stated.

Queried about the net subscriber addition target for FY20, Dua said that the 1.4 million net subscriber addition is an internal target. However, the company has given guidance of 0.8 million subscribers. “We had said last time that we will be sharing our guidance only at the end of the first quarter. So, our guidance is to the tune of about 8 lakhs for the year in terms of net adds.”

Dish TV India CFO Rajeev Dalmia said that the average revenue per user (ARPU) in the new regime is Rs 116 based on the new accounting. The consumer-level ARPU will be around Rs. 270-275. “But it varies on a month-on-month basis because things are still not completely settled at the consumer’s end. But we hope that in the second half of this year we will get a flavour that what is going to be the run rate as far as the consumer ARPU is concerned,” he noted.

Dua added that the ARPU is going up if one removes the effects of cricket. “But because of cricket, customers come and go, and they add packages, they remove packages. So, the steady-state figure will emerge. This is the first quarter with the new accounting, and the first time we are talking of a figure like Rs 116.”

On content cost, Dalmia said that in the new regime the higher the content cost, more will be the revenue because DPOs get 35% of what they bill to the consumer. The estimated content cost during the quarter was around Rs. 610 crore.

Explaining the decline in employee costs during the quarter, Dalmia said that there was some rightsizing done in the last quarter and the benefit of which is coming into this quarter. “And it will continue. And there were some changes in the model of service, which led to the saving of cost because of less employees required under the new regime. And as we guided during the last year about the synergy benefits, so this is one of the items in which we worked quite hard. And this year the difference between the last year and this year will be around 92.”

Giving the revenue break-up in Q1, Dalmia said that the subscription revenue was Rs. 826 crore, carriage fee was Rs. 43 crore, advertisement income was Rs. 20 crore, other operating income of Rs. 38 crore. The total revenue was Rs. 926 crore.

Dalmia also revealed that the licence fee is around Rs. 50-55 crore. The total provision is Rs. 2,950 crore, including interest of Rs. 1,100 crore. The Dish TV CFO also stated that the Capex during the quarter was Rs. 205 crore and for the full year, it will be in the range of Rs. 650-675 crore.

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