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Dish TV adds 220,000 subscribers; carriage fee up by 86% in Q3 FY14

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Dish TV adds 220,000 subscribers; carriage fee up by 86% in Q3 FY14

Dish TV has reported standalone operating revenues of Rs 6,128 million in the third quarter ended December 31, 2013, recording a growth of 9.9 per cent over the corresponding period last fiscal. Subscription revenues stood at Rs 5,529 million, a growth of 11.9 per cent over Q3 FY13. The DTH operator, which has almost 27 per cent share of the market, added 220,000 subscribers in Q3 FY14, taking its net subscriber base to 11.2 million.

Bandwidth revenues of Rs 180 million were up 83.6 per cent as compared to the corresponding quarter of last fiscal. Average Revenue per User (ARPU) went up to Rs 166. Dish TV reported EBITDA of Rs 1,355 million in Q3 FY14, with EBITDA margin at 22.1 per cent.

In a release issued, Subhash Chandra, Chairman, Dish TV India said, “The Indian television distribution sector is not completely out of the woods. With more than 14 months passed post the rollout of Phase I of mandatory digitisation, billing and other critical requirements have not yet been fully put in place by majority of the MSOs. Though far too delayed, we remain optimistic about the completion of digitisation in its true sense.”

Commenting on the Q3 FY14 performance, Jawahar Goel, Managing Director, Dish TV said, “It was an eventful quarter for Dish TV with the rollout of the first of its kind ‘On Request Ala-carte’ (ORA) scheme on its platform. While a reasonable content cost payout is well adopted, an unjustified increase in payment for content can jeopardise the existence of DTH in the country. With DTH continuing to contribute bulk of the subscription revenue to the broadcasters, it is high time they get started on collecting their share of revenue from close to 5,000 cable companies apart from rationalisation of carriage fee payout.”

Salil Kapoor, COO, Dish TV shared, “Our carriage fees have gone up by 86 per cent quarter-on-quarter as we have increased the bandwidth cost to certain channels which are not popular. Although the churn has come down to 0.6 per cent as we have increased the price of the inventory, it has not impacted us much. We have been paying our debts and that is a big achievement.”

Dish TV had recently got into dispute with Indiacast. Though there were speculations that this dispute could hurt Dish TV’s prospects, industry observers said that the dispute with Indiacast has not impacted the DTH operator’s share. However, as digitisation spreads and if the operator plans to increase the ARPU, there might be a shift in equations. On being asked about the losses in quarter, Kapoor said, “The losses have been consistently coming down every quarter.”

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