Companies

DTH players focus on market share as digitisation approaches

Abhishek Law Kolkata | Updated on November 14, 2017 Published on March 19, 2012

DTH





As the June 30 deadline for digitisation in the four metros approaches, DTH players like Dish TV and Tata Sky are going into overdrive.

If Tata Sky is going for value additions to grab a larger slice of the Rs 22,500-cable sector market (analogue +digital), then Dish TV has begun fishing in multiple service operators' territory.

Dish TV, which already has 12.5 million subscribers, will now partner the cable operators to gain a foothold in localities that were designated to them during the analogue days. The local operator will sell connections (DTH) and also be responsible for maintenance of equipment.

Dish TV plans to add 3,000 local operators by June this year. “We announced the model in February for all the four metropolitan cities. We are approaching local cable operators with the offers. The response so far has been encouraging,” said Mr Salil Kapoor, CEO, Dish TV.

Payments

According to Mr Kapoor, payments will be based on the margins and monthly recharges. Margins are expected to vary between 15 and 20 per cent of monthly recharges. Moreover, local operators are not expected to invest anything in the project.

“Operators make money from these margins and commissions,” he added.

Market sources said that the model is similar to one which has been used by MSOs. Each local operator operates in a designated area. But with set-top boxes ensuring better accountability, chances of leakages are now nullified. This, sources said, might have prompted Dish to consider the model.

The other big strategy is to offer value additions. With MSOs claiming to have an edge in terms of local content and number of channels aired, DTH players are pitching better connect with the subscriber as their new USP.

In the past HD video recording (including video on demand) and ‘talk in your native language' were offered as value adds. Now Tata Sky has come up with a television commercial where it emphasises ensuring connectivity anywhere within India following re-location by the subscriber. It has also come out with a download-and-watch concept for some programmes.

“Customer service has to be end aim and the key differentiator,” said Mr Vikram Mehra, Chief Marketing Officer, Tata Sky Ltd. The DTH player, with 8.5 million subscribers, is currently the second largest player in the digital cable market.

> abhishek.l @thehindu.co.in

Published on March 19, 2012
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