Hinduja Ventures’ outlook for cable TV, HITS biz

MUMBAI: Hinduja Ventures Ltd (HVL), the parent company of IndusInd Media and Communications Ltd (IMCL), sees huge scope in expanding the TV distribution business through a combination of headend in the sky (HITS) and multi system operator (MSO) model.

The company feels that there is scope for providing digital TV services to an additional 30 million homes in the rural universe of 99 million homes. Another 20 million homes await power to households and will begin to watch television in next three years, it added.

HVL has combined its HITS and cable TV businesses under IMCL. The HITS business was under Grant Investrade, which is being merged into HVL. The amalgamation process is pending approval before the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT).

In its fourth-quarter results report, the company said that IMCL could garner one of the highest numbers of additional subscribers in the cable-based platform in the industry with the combined benefits of hybrid satellite plus fibre (HITS) and fibre-based digital (MSO) platforms.

IMCL, it said, has been able to provide an innovative entrepreneurship model in the semi-urban and rural areas, adding 3000 local cable operators (LCOs) and other business partners.

It further stated that IMCL continues to make inroads into the rural areas through HITS platform NXT Digital.

It also noted that IMCL is the only Digital Platform Operator (DPO) to be available in all 29 states and 5 union territories due to major penetration in last 12 months into rural India utilising NXT Digital platform.

HVL said that NXT Digital Copes (Cable Operator Premiere Equipments) are active in 1123 codes with signals transmitted to 2103 pin codes in 1097 distinctive locations. IMCL is also available now in over 50% large cities and smart cities, it added.

IMCL has also restructured its business by transferring the broadband business and the Fiber Optic Network to other group companies in order to focus fully on the cable TV and HITS business. This, the company said, is expected to create long-term stakeholder value.

The company also said that it has already converted 95% of its subscription revenues to prepaid model with the balance 5% homes being rapidly converted to prepaid in the coming quarter.

This, HVL said, will make IMCL the only 100% in Digital Cable/ NXT Digital HITS Digital Platform Operator in the country. It may be noted that 99% of NXT Digital is on the prepaid model. All fresh activations are on the prepaid model.

Meanwhile, HVL has reported a consolidated net loss after tax and minority of Rs 255.54 crore stood for the fiscal ended March 2018 as against a loss of Rs 56.61 crore for FY17. The company has reported consolidated total income Rs 868.97 crore as against to Rs 826 crore for FY17.

HVL’s loss from media and communications segment was Rs 377.5 crore compared to Rs 314.8 crore. The revenue from the segment was Rs 651.7 crore compared to Rs 613.1 crore.