Tata Sky, Siti Networks are top DTH, cable platforms in terms of active subs: TRAI

MUMBAI: Tata Sky and Siti Networks have emerged as the top direct to home (DTH) and digital cable platforms respectively, according to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India‘s (TRAI) Performance Indicator Report (PIR) for the July-September quarter.

The TRAI has for the first time published the list of leading digital cable operators with 1 million+ active subscribers in the PIR. Siti tops this list with 91.23 lakh (9.12 million) active subscribers.

As per the data reported by Multi System Operators (MSOs)/Head in the Sky (HITS) operators, there are 12 MSOs & 1 HITS operator who have a subscriber base greater than one million.

GTPL Hathway is at the second spot with 53.48 lakh (5.34 million) subscribers followed by Hathway Digital 53.17 lakh (5.3 million), DEN Networks 43.02 lakh (4.3 million), and Tamil Nadu Arasu Cable TV 27.73 lakh (2.77 million).

IndusInd Media and Communications Ltd (IMCL) has a cumulative subscriber base of 36.25 lakh (3.62 million) including HITS and cable TV. On a standalone basis, IMCL’s HITS subscriber base is 20.49 lakh (2.04 million) while the cable TV base is 15.76 lakh (1.57 million).

They are followed by Kerala Communicators Cable Ltd (KCCL) 26.71 lakh (2.67 million), Fastway Transmissions 24.72 lakh (2.47 lakh), KAL Cables 18.45 lakh (1.84 million), Asianet Digital Network 14.86 lakh (1.48 million), VK Digital 14.29 lakh (1.42 million), and E-Infrastructure and Entertainment India 11.82 lakh (1.18 million).

According to the PIR, there are 1,606 MSOs registered with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) as of 30th September 2019. Out of these registered MSOs, 1,143 are operational.

Pay DTH segment

The report stated that the pay DTH has attained a total active subscriber base of around 69.30 million at the end of September 2019 from 68.92 million in QE June 2019.

Tata Sky, which had upstaged Dish TV in the previous quarter to become the top pay DTH operator in the country, has retained its numero uno position with a reduced market share of 31.61% (29.6 million). In the trailing quarter, the DTH operator’s market share was 32%.

Dish TV has closed in on Tata Sky by increasing its market share to 31.23% (21.64 million) compared to 31% in the April-June quarter. Bharti Telemedia’s share has gone up from 23% to 23.39% (15.93 million) while Sun Direct’s share has dropped to 13.78% (9.54 million) from 14%.

The TRAI noted that previously (up to March 2019) the subscription figure of total active subscribers included inactive and temporarily suspended subscribers for not more than the last 120 days. However, as per the new regulatory framework of Broadcasting and Cable TV Services, the total active subscribers are counted including only those subscribers which are inactive/temporarily suspended for not more than the last 90 days.

It further stated that the marginal reduction in the subscriber base as compared to previous quarters (up to March 2019) may be due to closure of DTH Services by Independent TV Limited and also now the number of days for which inactive subscribers were taken into consideration is 90 days as compared to 120 days taken for previous quarters up to March 2019.

On a YoY basis, the total active DTH pay subscriber base has dropped to 69.30 million from 69.45 million.

Total number of pay channels

A total of 910 private satellite TV channels have been permitted by the MIB for uplinking only/ downlinking only/ uplinking and downloading both, as on 31st October 2019.

As per the reporting by broadcasters in pursuance of the Tariff Order dated 3rd March 2017, there are 330 pay channels, as on 30th September 2019, which include 232 SD pay-TV channels and 98 HD Pay TV channels.

FM radio segment

Apart from the radio stations operated by public broadcaster All India Radio (AIR), there are 367 operational private FM Radio stations in 104 cities with operational 33 Private FM Radio broadcasters as on 30th September 2019 as compared to 366 private FM Radio Stations in 104 cities with operational 33 FM Radio broadcasters in the previous quarter.

During the quarter, one new private FM Radio Station has become operational by South Asia FM in Agartala.

The reported advertisement revenue during the quarter ending 30th September 2019 in respect of 366 private FM Radio stations is Rs 466.70 crore as against Rs 526.13 crore in respect of 365 private FM Radio stations for the previous quarter i.e. 30th June 2019. One FM Radio Broadcaster, Gwalior Firm, operating in the city of Guwahati, has not submitted the advertisement revenue.

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