DTH India 2011

DTH India 2011, dth logo Red DTH India 2011.

in India commenced in 2005 with the launch of Dish TV. Since then the Indian DTH subscriber base has expanded from 750,000 in 2005 to 30 million by the end of 2010, leading to an exemplary 108% compound growth rate. Currently there are 6 pay direct-to-home (DTH) operators, oldest Zee Dish TV DTH, Sun Direct DTH, Tata Sky DTH, Reliance Digital TV formerly known as Big TV DTH, Airtel Digital TV and last addition Videocon D2H DTH and 1 Free To Air (FTA), DD Direct+ which offers free the telecast of Doordarshan and private channels, together contributing to the Indian DTH market.

A research by Screen Digest predicts that,

Increased foreign participation and consolidation in India’s DTH satellite TV market is likely in the next two to five years.

The proposed easing of foreign involvement limits in Indian broadcasting ventures from 49% to 74% will see more international players enter India’s DTH market.
By 2014 DTH will cross the 50 million mark, making it bigger than both North America and Western Europe.

Though India’s DTH subscriber revenues accounted for just 1% of global pay-TV subscriptions revenue in 2010, it will increase to 2.7% by 2014.
High DTH content and hardware subsidies and low ARPUs lead to excessive losses, and so consolidation is inevitable in the long run.

Though it is impossible to predict which of the DTH operators would either fold or merge, some movement in this direction in the next two to five years is expected.
Cable TV remains the dominant pay-TV distribution platform in India, with a 75% market share compared to satellite’s 25%. However, the average revenue per satellite subscriber is set to overtake cable ARPUs in India and will grow in tandem with the economy at a compound annual growth rate of 8% between 2010 and 2014.

The analysts are careful to point out this forecast could, however, deviate should analogue switch off happen within this five year time frame. The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has proposed that all 83 million analogue cable homes transition to digital by 2013, way before the official date for terrestrial analogue switch off, which Screen Digest believes, has now been put back to 2017.

As the DTH TV industry is currently in its growth phase, it is expected to attract a large number of subscribers in near future. This growth can be attributed to a wide range of options that DTH service providers offer to the subscribers. With the entry of new players in the Indian DTH industry, competition is getting intense. Owing to this, DTH service providers are offering their subscribers numerous attractive channel packages. Keeping in mind the social status of different customers, DTH companies provide a wide range of subscription prices and the comfort of switching between packages as per their needs and requirements. This is resulting in high growth of subscriber base.

Together, India’s six private DTH platforms serve about 30 million homes in India – with Dish TV (over nine million) and Tata Sky (over 6 million) leading the pack in terms of subscriber numbers. The totals come from the addition of subscribers to Zee Dish TV DTH, Sun Direct DTH, Tata Sky DTH, Reliance Digital TV (Big TV) DTH, Airtel Digital TV and Videocon D2H DTH. They do not include viewers of public broadcaster Doordarshan’s DTH service DD Direct. Clearly, the Indian DTH market is on the verge of a revolution.