DTH, cable TV players lost 1.5 mn active subscribers during Jul-Sep 2021: TRAI

According to the TRAI report, the total pay active subscriber base of private DTH operators has decreased by 1.4% to 68.89 million in September 2021 from 69.86 million in June 2021

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Jan 11, 2022 6:00 PM

3.2k

TRAI

Pay direct to home (DTH) operators saw a drop in almost a million pay active subscribers during the July-August-September quarter of 2021, according to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's (TRAI) quarterly report titled 'The Indian Telecom Services Performance Indicators'.

According to the TRAI report, the total pay active subscriber base of private DTH operators has decreased by 1.4% to 68.89 million in September 2021 from 69.86 million in June 2021. This is a drop of almost 0.97 million subscribers. Airtel Digital, Dish TV, Tata Sky and Sun Direct are the four pay DTH operators in the market. Apart from the pay platforms, Prasar Bharati operates a free DTH platform called DD Free Dish, which has an estimated base of 40 million subscribers.

Bharti Telemedia (Airtel Digital) and Sun Direct saw a growth in their active subscriber base. Tata Sky saw a minor drop in the subscriber base while Dish TV's base shrank by almost a percentage point. Bharti Telemedia's market share increased to 26.11% in September 2021 from 25.76% in June 2021. Sun Direct's share was up at 17.91% from 17.41%. Tata Sky's share stood at 33.34% compared to 33.37%. Dish TV's market share declined to 22.65% from 23.45%.

Cable TV Sector

As on 30th September 2021, there were 1745 multi system operators (MSOs) registered with Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB). Further, as per the data reported by MSOs and headend in the sky (HITS) operators, there are 12 MSOs & 1 HITS operator who have a subscriber base greater than one million.

According to TRAI, the top players in the cable TV industry saw a drop in over half a million active subscribers during the quarter. The total active subscriber base of 9 MSOs & 1 HITS operator has dropped to 4.55 crore in September 2021 from 4.61 crore in June 2021. Of the 12 MSOs, Thamizhaga Cable TV Communication, Kerala Communicators Cable, and VK Digital Network were the only ones to see a growth in subscriber base.

The pecking order in the cable TV sector has also seen a change with GTPL Hathway overtaking Siti Networks to become the number 1 player in terms of total active subscriber base. GTPL Hathway had 7.79 million subscribers compared to 7.64 million subscribers of Siti Networks.

As on 30th September 2021, the active subscriber base of top MSO and HITS operators is as follows: GTPL Hathway (7,799,167), Siti Networks (7,649,554), Hathway Digital (5,505,062), Den Networks (4,670,618), Thamizhaga Cable TV Communication (3,762,040), Kerala Communicators Cable (2,935,006), Tamil Nadu Arasu Cable TV Corporation (2,789,971), Fastway Transmissions (2,149,610), KAL Cables (2,123,566), NXT Digital - HITS (2,005,747), VK Digital Network  (1,906,348), Asianet Digital Network (1,175,658), and NXT Digital - Cable TV (1,056,902).

In the previous quarter ending June 2021, the subscriber base of the top operators was as follows: Siti Networks (7,861,314), GTPL Hathway (7,833,694), Hathway Digital (5,603,942), Den Networks (4,862,741), Thamizhaga Cable TV Communication (3,693,943), Kerala Communicators Cable (2,889,439), Tamil Nadu Arasu Cable TV Corporation (2,885,583), Fastway Transmissions (2,195,619), KAL Cables (2,081,801), NXT Digital - HITS (2,025,202), VK Digital Network (1,845,823), Asianet Digital Network (1,208,681), and NXT Digital - Cable TV (1,105,650).

TV channels

A total of 906 private satellite TV channels have been permitted by the MIB for uplinking only/downlinking only/both uplinking & downlinking, as on 30th September 2021.
As per the reporting done by broadcasters in pursuance of the Tariff Order dated 3rd March 2017 as amended, there are 348 satellite pay TV channels, as on 30th September 2021 which includes 252 SD satellite pay TV channels and 96 HD satellite pay TV channels.
Apart from these pay channels reported to TRAI, all other channels permitted by MIB have been considered as Free to Air (FTA) channels. During the quarter, there were 558 FTA channels in the market compared to 569 FTA channels in the previous quarter.

FM Radio Services

Apart from the radio channels operated by the public broadcaster All India Radio (AIR), there are 385 operational private FM Radio stations in 112 cities operated by 34 private FM Radio broadcasters as compared to 384 private FM Radio Stations in 111 cities operated by 34 FM Radio broadcasters in the previous quarter.

As per the data reported by FM Radio broadcasters to TRAI, the advertisement revenue of 385 private FM Radio stations stood at Rs 294.78 crore for the quarter ending September 2021 as against Rs 148.02 crore in respect of 384 private FM Radio stations for the previous quarter ending June 2021.

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