Tata Sky overtakes Dish TV to become top DTH operator in Apr-Jun quarter

MUMBAI: Tata Sky has overtaken Dish TV to become the top direct to home (DTH) operator in the country in terms of average active subscriber base, according to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) Performance Indicator Report (PIR) for the April-June 2019 quarter.

For the quarter ended 30th June, Tata Sky’s market share jumped to 32% in terms of average active subscriber base while Dish TV’s share shrank to 31%. In the January-March 2019 quarter, the market share of Tata Sky and Dish TV stood at 25% and 40% respectively.

This means that Tata Sky’s market share witnessed a 7% jump while that of Dish TV declined by 9%. Airtel Digital TV and Sun Direct also witnessed an increase in active subscriber base to 23% and 14% respectively. In the trailing quarter, the market share of the two DTH operators stood at 22% and 12% respectively.

Independent TV (formerly Reliance Digital TV), which had a 1% market share in the previous quarter, saw its DTH licence being suspended by the ministry of information and broadcasting (MIB) due to black-out of its services. The interim renewal of the DTH operator’s licence will be reconsidered only after the resumption of transmission of channels. The decision was taken by the ministry as it had received numerous complaints from the consumers against Independent TV regarding the total blackout of DTH service.

According to the TRAI’s PIR, the four private DTH operators attained an average active subscriber base of around 54.36 million. This is in addition to the subscribers of the DD Free Dish (free DTH service of Doordarshan). According to the PIR for January-March quarter, the five pay DTH operators had attained a net active subscriber base of around 72.44 million as on 31st March 2019 as compared to 70.49 million at the end of last quarter.

As per the new regulatory framework for Broadcasting and Cable TV Services which came into effect from 29th December 2018, the monthly subscription of a channel or bouquet shall be arrived at, by averaging the number of subscribers subscribing that channel or bouquet, as the case may be, recorded four times in a month. The number of subscribers shall be recorded at any point in time between 19:00 Hrs to 23:00 Hrs of the day. Average active subscriber base means the number arrived by averaging the active subscriber base as on 7th day, 14th day, 21st day, 28th day, of the month.

The TRAI’ PIR noted that a total of 908 private satellite TV channels have been permitted by the MIB for uplinking only/downlinking only/uplinking and downloading both, as on 28th May 2019.

As per the reporting done by broadcasters in pursuance of the Tariff Order dated 3rd March 2017, there are 331 pay channels, which include 233 SD pay-TV channels and 98 HD Pay TV channels. As of 30th June, there are 1,469 Multi System Operators (MSOs) registered with MIB.

Apart from the radio stations operated by All India Radio (AIR), there are 366 operational private FM Radio stations in 104 cities with operational 33 Private FM Radio broadcaster as compared to 356 private FM Radio Stations in 98 cities with operational 33 FM Radio broadcasters in the previous quarter.

The reported advertisement revenue during the quarter ending 30th June 2019 in respect of 365 private FM Radio stations is Rs 526.13 crore as against Rs 623.96 crore in respect of 355 private FM Radio stations for the previous quarter i.e March 2019. One FM Radio Broadcaster, Gwalior Firm Private Limited, operating in the city of Guwahati, has not submitted the advertisement revenue.

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