TRAI slams reports of 25% drop in DTH active subscriber base

In a first, TRAI has collected the Monthly Subscription Report from DTH operators

by exchange4media Staff
Published - Oct 9, 2019 3:57 PM Updated: Oct 9, 2019 3:57 PM
TRAI

TRAI has issued a press release rubbishing claims that there has been a 25 per cent drop in DTH active subscribers for the quarter ending June 30, 2019.

The release read, “Some reports in the newspaper in last 2-3 days published that there has been a 25 per cent drop in active subscriber base of DTH services and average active subscriber base has been reduced to 54.26 million in the quarter ended June 30 from 72.44 million in the quarter ended March 31. At the outset, it is clarified that these reports don't compare the same set of data and therefore conclusion derived is wrong.”

It does agree that there is a marginal drop in the number and attributed it to the closure of Independent TV.

Explaining how the data for subscriber base is procured, TRAI says, “Subscribers of DTH services can be collected many ways such as (a) Average active subscriber in a given month (b) Subscribers including those who have not been inactive or temporarily suspended for more than 120 days (c) Subscribers including those who have not been inactive or temporarily suspended for more than 90 days (c) Total registered subscriber from the date DTH operator started its operation. In fact, till last quarter i.e up to March 2019, the DTH Operators were reporting (a) subscriber base which also includes subscribers who have not been inactive or temporarily suspended for more 120 days and (b) total registered subscriber from the date DTH operator started its operation due to the prevailing regulatory framework.”

The regulatory body also goes on to state that to bring complete transparency in the sector, for the first time in the history of the sector, the information related to the active subscribers in a month (Monthly Subscription Report) has been collected by TRAI from DTH operators. This figure was never collected earlier. Hence no direct comparison is possible.

Speaking about the slight drop, the authority adds, “The total subscriber base of QE June 2019 is 68.92 million (now temporarily suspension period not more than 90 days) in comparison to 72.44 million (temporarily suspension period not more than 120 days) for QE March 2019. The marginal reduction in the subscriber base may be due to closure of DTH services by M/s Independent TV Ltd 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.”

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