Dish TV looking at 1.4 mn net subscriber additions in FY20
MUMBAI: Direct to home (DTH) operator Dish TV is looking at 1.4 million net subscriber additions in FY20. The company added 0.7 million subscribers in FY19 to end the fiscal at 23.7 million subscribers.
Speaking during an earnings conference call to discuss Q4 and FY19 results, Dish TV Group CEO Anil Dua said, “So, we have a plan actually to get back to our 14 lakhs or 1.4 million kind of net adds this year. So, the start has been promising and we are hoping to get there.”
Dua is excited about the opportunities that exist at the moment both from DD Free Dish platform as well as the cable. Leading entertainment broadcasters have pulled out their channels from DD Free Dish which is expected to weaken the free DTH platform
The implementation of new tariff order (NTO) has seen several cable TV service providers struggling to adapt to the new regime leading to the migration of customers to DTH platforms.
“With a strong semi-urban and rural base, Dish TV India also stands to benefit from the withdrawal of Hindi entertainment and movie channels by the top 4 broadcasters from the DD Free Dish platform,” he stated.
The Dish TV head honcho also noted that the cricket season almost throughout the year and the launch of the company’s special India Cricket service will also help in boosting subscriber addition.
Dua expects FY20 to be a landmark year for Dish TV with market-leading revenue and EBITDA growth. “The year is also going to be the first full year seeing the positive impact of the now well in place Tariff Order. We strongly believe that the new regulatory regime will bring much-needed transparency in the industry. Thus, helping distribution platforms, like Dish TV India, command a premium for its nationwide reach,” he stated.
He further stated that the new regulatory regime, along with continuing synergies, should further help the company to increase EBITDA per subscriber during the year.
Answering a question about booking of content cost in the balance sheet, Dish TV CFO Rajeev Dalmia said that the TV distribution industry will be booking only their own attributable income which will be 35% of the content cost plus the 130 NCF.
“But I think, it will take another 15-20 days before all four of us start doing the same thing and pay licence fee on the basis of the income, which is realized by us and not on the income which is the passed through item between us and the broadcasters,” he added.
Dish TV CMD Jawahar Goel said that the company has written to TRAI to make a recommendation to the government on this issue. “And they had at least verbally assured us that on 6th of June, they will issue some consultation, a pre-consultation and then recommend to the government.”
Dua also noted that the average revenue per user (ARPU) of Dish TV reverted to the pre NTO levels in March. “It reverted in March. I cannot give you month wise ARPU’s. But what I can share with you is that the ARPU for the year is at Rs. 202 which, of course, we exited March at a better number.”
Dalmia also said that the company had deployed Rs. 850 crore capex in FY19. The capex for FY20 will be in the region of Rs. 600 crore to Rs. 650 crore.
Meanwhile, Dua stated that the company has invested Rs 35-40 crore in its over the top (OTT) platform Watcho. He also stated that the platform is getting good traction even as it launched less than a couple of months back.
“We already have over 2 lakh users and we have more than 2 million sessions. We have about 20 shows, web series, and shows on the platform. But the good thing about this is that, on one hand, the content is very reasonably priced in terms of our cost and on the other hand, the way we are looking at it is for stickiness on our current platform,” Dua said.