Dish TV to deploy Rs 1200 cr Capex in FY19; eyes 1.3 mn net subs addition

MUMBAI: Direct to home (DTH) operator Dish TV plans to deploy Capex of Rs 1200 crore in the financial year 2019.

The company after the successful merger with Videocon d2h is looking to add 1.3 million net subscribers during the fiscal.

“We estimate that the Capex will be around Rs. 1,200 crore in the year,” Dish TV India CFO Rajeev Dalmia told analysts during a conference call.

Dish TV Group CEO Anil Dua said that the Capex is on gross subscriber additions. He also said that the net subscribers will go up by 1.3 million.

The company has also restated its net subscriber base at 23 million from the 29 million it was quoting earlier.

Dua said that the subscriber base has been restated since the company has changed the ARPU definition to 60 days from 120 days.

“So we feel that this is (a) in line with industry practice and (b) a more rational way of accounting for the number of subscribers,” Dua added.

Dalmia noted that 6 million subscribers that have got shaved off are 3 million from the d2h brand, 2.5 million from Dish brand, and 0.5 million from both the brands who have a complimentary demo and lifetime subscribers.

Dua stated that the company will compete in the market with three brands Dish, d2h, and Zing. Dish and d2h, he said, will compete and complement each other.

He also said that the two brands will in the foreseeable future, however, an eventual merger between the two cannot be ruled out after a few years.

Queried as to how the à la carte or Mera Apna Pack on Dish TV platform and Mera Wala Pack on d2h platform has helped in increasing revenue, Dua said that there is a wide-scale down trading which has been happening in the market over last 2 years.

The a la carte offering, he said, helps in recovering some revenue from these customers over and above the packs that they are subscribing to.

Talking about the synergies between Dish and d2h, Dua said that the merger with Videocon d2h has helped the company in finding a right balance between urban and rural customers as Dish is skewed towards rural India while Videocon d2h has a good presence in urban areas. From a 75-25 split in favour of rural, the company now has 65-35 split.

“So, we have a good profile in urban as well as a good concentration in rural and we think that puts us ideally in a position to harvest both the ends of the spectrum. And, along with several other initiatives that we have in mind including strengthening our brand, further building on the initiatives we have taken in terms of high definition, in terms of our day-term sales, in terms of Mera Apna Pack that we spoke about. We hope all these will help us build revenue,” he elaborated.

Dua also said that the launch of the new over the top (OTT) offering is intended to retain the upper end of the market. “So that (upper-end market) needs to be de-risked by all the platforms that needs to be an area where we need to play in because ultimately, it is the content consumption which we do through our distribution and therefore, it is not an area we can ignore,” he said.

With 3.5 million subscribers, high definition (HD) will be another focus area for the company. “I think HD is going to be one major area that we will drive because it started giving us good dividends and we will like to build further on it for both the brands for Dish as well as D2H,” Dua said.

Dua also admitted that the subscription revenue has fallen in the exit quarter of FY18. He attributed the decline to focus on quality subscribers. He also noted that this quarter had 2 days less than the previous quarter. Another reason for the drop is the uncertainty surrounding the merger.

“We do feel that we should be able to pick our revenue growth from here while last year our combined platform growth is about 3% we are looking at about a 7% to 8% kind of revenue growth in the coming fiscal,” he averred.

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