DTH ops added 4.91 mn net active pay subs in 2017

MUMBAI: The six pay direct to home (DTH) operators added 4.91 million net pay active subscribers in 2017 to take the total base to 67.56 million for the year ended 31 December.

This is a growth of 7.83% over the previous calendar year, according to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) performance indicator report for the year 2017.

However, the subscriber addition is lower than the 6.67 million net pay active subscribers added by the six DTH operators in 2016. The net active pay subscriber base increased by 12% compared to 2015 when the base was 55.98 million.

Apart from the six pay DTH platforms, Prasar Bharati also operates free DTH service called DD Free Dish, which is believed to have 22 million customers.

In terms of market share, Dish TV and Tata Sky ended the year with 24% share each followed by Airtel Digital TV (21%), Videocon d2h (19%), Sun Direct (10%), and Reliance Digital TV (2%). Effective 22 March, Dish TV, and Videocon d2h have merged operations to become the biggest TV distribution platform in the country.

Compared to 2016, the share of Tata Sky and Airtel Digital TV has gone up. The market share in 2016 stood at Dish TV (25%), Tata Sky (23%), Airtel Digital TV (20%), Videocon d2h (20%), and Sun Direct (10%) and Reliance Digital TV (2%).

As on 31 December, a total of 877 private satellite TV channels have been permitted by the ministry of information and broadcasting (MIB) for uplinking only/downlinking/uplinking.

In 2017, the number of pay channels increased to 304 from 287 in the previous year. These 304 pay channels include 216 SD pay TV channels and 88 HD Pay TV channels.

Among cable TV platforms, GTPL KCBPL and Siti Networks carried the maximum number of channels at 437. Digicable carried the least number of channels 261. Siti Networks carried the most FTA channels at 198 while Kal Cable carried 254 pay channels, which is the highest by a cable TV platform. Hathway Sukhamrit and Fastway Transmission carried most local cable channels at 87.

There were 326 operational private FM Radio stations in 86 existing cities with operational 34 FM Radio broadcaster as compared to 273 private FM Radio Stations in 84 cities at the year ending December 2016.

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