Dish TV-d2h combine to launch new OTT service

MUMBAI: TV distribution behemoth Dish TV, which now includes Videocon d2h, is planning to launch an expanded over the top (OTT) offering to allow the subscribers of the two DTH brands to access content on the go.

Currently, Videocon d2h has a mobile TV application which provides its subscribers access to 80+ Live TV channels and 1,000+ movies and videos. Dish TV had launched a mobile TV app Dish Online, however, the same was discontinued.

Dish Online was powered by Dish TV’s sister concern ZEEL-owned OTT service ditto TV, which provided live TV, movies, shows, and videos. Earlier this year, the broadcaster merged ditto TV and OZEE to launch a new OTT service ZEE5, which offers on-demand content, live TV channels, and original shows.

“On the OTT side, we have plans in the near future to once again get into that space because already we were in that space and there was ditto TV which was available on that,” Dish TV Group CEO Anil Dua told TelevisionPost.com in an interview.

The OTT platform will cater to both the platforms, Dish TV and Videocon d2h.

“We plan to come back with a new OTT service in future for both the brands. We will come out with a much bigger service with more content, more engagement, more investment from our side,” he added.

Dua said that the company will continue with both the brands for the foreseeable future as each brand has its own unique strength. “Both the brands complement each other. d2h is strong in South while Dish TV is strong in East. In North and West, both the brands are equally strong,” he noted.

The new OTT service will also have a lot of short-format digital content apart from live TV channels. “The OTT service has to provide specific content basis our understanding of what our TG is looking for and what is the position of our OTT service. Accordingly, we will be tying up on the content side and providing specialised content which will be available only on this platform,” Dua stated.

While the legal integration between the two companies has been completed, the DTH company is gearing up to complete the operational integration. “The two teams are in common offices. We have shared warehouses across the country. Some of the structures have been combined. Manpower rationalisation and synergy has started,” Dua said.

The combined entity will have a staff strength of 2,500.

Dish TV chief financial officer (CFO) Rajeev Dalmia said that the company will have a cost synergy of Rs 510 crore in FY19. The cost synergy is around items like set top boxes (STBs), interest expense, backend operation, content cost and other residual savings.

The combined debt of the company will around Rs 3000 crore. The average cost of Dish TV’s debt was 8.5% while Videocon d2h’s interest cost was 13%. “Going forward, the joint interest cost will be 9%,” Dalmiya said.

Another area where the two companies will exploit synergy is content cost, which is 30-35% of the top-line. “We see huge scope in synergy on the content cost front not only in FY19 but also going forward,” he added.