Dish TV Q2 net loss widens to Rs 96.4 cr as subs rev declines

MUMBAI: Direct to home (DTH) operator Dish TV has widened its net loss for the second quarter to Rs 96.4 crore compared to Rs 35.4 crore in the first quarter of the fiscal.

The company’s EBITDA for the quarter dropped to Rs 520.5 crore as against Rs 536 crore in Q1. The company’s operating revenue declined to Rs 893.2 crore from Rs 926.3 crore. Expenditure dropped to Rs 372.7 crore from Rs 390.2 crore.

Subscription revenue fell to Rs 792 crore from Rs 826.1 crore as prolonged monsoon resulted in recharge delays impacting subscription revenues for the quarter. The absence of big-ticket sporting events like the Cricket World Cup also impacted subscription revenues and churn reported during the second quarter, as compared to the previous quarter.

Dish TV stated that the seasonally weak second quarter came bundled with other external challenges this time. Slowing subscriber additions due to a not so robust macro-economic environment, price undercutting by peers, along with heavy rains and flooding in many parts of the country made subscriber acquisitions and retention a challenging task.

The company, notwithstanding any of these, added 42,000 subscribers at a net level during the second quarter. Churn, though higher, was on expected lines. Total net subscriber base at the end of the quarter was 23.94 million.

A temporarily dried-up credit line, due to factors beyond the operational performance of the Company, led to an increase in payables. Payable days are expected to be normalised by the end of the fiscal.

With programming cost becoming a pass-through item in the New Tariff Regime, the company stated that the subscription and operating revenues for the quarter are not comparable with the corresponding period last year.

“Setting aside the price undercutting resorted to by some peers in parts of the country, Dish TV India maintained a fine balance between subscriber acquisition and the cost of such acquisition. The Company intentionally avoided adding extremely value-conscious subscribers,” said Dish TV India Group CEO Anil Dua.

Widening the portfolio of offering for its subscribers, Dish TV India launched its much awaited Smart Connected Devices comprising of the Dish SMRT Hub Android set-top box and Dish SMRT Kit – a voice-enabled dongle with an Amazon Alexa powered remote across 20 carefully selected locations in the country.

The company registered an encouraging response for both the next-generation products and aims to address a 5 million market for the Dish SMRT Kit along with virtually the entire market of broadband-connected houses with the Dish SMRT Hub.

“The company, in a bid to elevate the festive fervour, launched special combos and exciting offers catering to the needs of customers across various segments. The new festive packages have been designed keeping in mind the diverse choice of content across various segments and should further strengthen our base across the country,” added Dua.

The company strongly believes that the Regulation should be implemented in entirety and subscribers should not end up paying for unwanted channels.

Dish TV CMD Jawahar Goel said, “It is evident that even in the New Regime, there has been a propensity to push low rated channels into bouquets with the objective of increasing the viewership of high rated channels. If the Regulation gets implemented in entirety, there would be better pricing that would ensure wider consumption of channels. Content would be subject to subscriber’s filtration and as a distributor, we would only be procuring popular content that sells.”

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