Sun TV Network’s subs rev from Sun Direct stood at Rs 278.39 cr in FY19

MUMBAI: Sun TV Network’s subscription income from direct to home (DTH) operator Sun Direct has seen exponential growth due to the digitisation of cable TV platforms in Tamil Nadu.

Sun TV Network’s subscription earning from Sun Direct in FY19 is Rs 278.39 crore compared to Rs 232.84 crore. The company’s trade receivable from Sun Direct is Rs 174.79 crore in FY19 and Rs 151.6 crore in FY18.

The broadcaster’s income from subscription jumped to Rs 1,499.60 crore from Rs 1,308.57 crore in the previous fiscal. Apart from Sun Direct, the company receives subscription revenue from Sun Distribution Services, Kal Media Services, and Gemini TV Distribution Services.

Subscription income from Sun Distribution Services declined to Rs 155.55 crore from Rs 240.28 crore. The subscription revenue recognition from Kal Media Services jumped to Rs 135.55 crore from Rs 82.43 crore. Gemini TV Distribution Services contributed Rs 59.73 crore to the company’s subscription income.

Sun TV Network and Sun Direct are connected as they have the same promoters. Sun TV Network promoters Kalanithi Maran and his wife Kaveri Kalanithi together hold 80% stake in Sun Direct. South Asia Entertainment Holding Ltd (SAEHL), a 100% subsidiary of Astro All Asia Networks Plc (Astro), holds the remaining 20% stake.

The implementation of digital addressable system (DAS) is an unfinished task in Tamil Nadu as many homes with analogue transmission are yet to make the switch.

DAS implementation in Tamil Nadu began in 2017 after the state government-owned Arasu Cable received a provisional licence from the ministry of information and broadcasting (MIB).

As reported earlier by, Sun Direct added two million gross subscribers during the first 10 months of the financial year 2018-19.

During the period 10M FY19, the DTH operator’s activation income registered moderate 5% growth on an annualised basis during. Subscription income registered significant growth at 19%. Gross subscriber addition during the period was 20 lakh (2 million).

While customer acquisition has been healthy in the past, the company had witnessed high churn in the customer base mainly due to a lower number of channels offered.

Sun Direct has been focusing its operations primarily in the Southern region with the share of South India in the net subscriber base high at around 98%.

The DTH operator’s net profit for 9M FY19 has fallen to Rs 5.92 crore compared to Rs 45.27 crore in FY18. The net profit fell on account of increased subscriber acquisition cost and other costs.

The total income of Sun Direct grew by about 13% year-on-year from Rs. 1,215 crore in FY17 to Rs. 1,372 crore in FY18 mainly driven by growth in activation income. During FY18, the activation income grew by 53% on the back of gross subscriber acquisition of 18 lakhs (1.8 million), while the subscription income grew by about 11%.

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