Airtel Digital TV and Dish TV Talks to Create World’s Largest DTH Operator Called Off

After being in talks for more than eight months, the merger talks between Airtel Digital TV and Dish TV have ended the latter was looking for an all-cash deal

  • Airtel Digital TV and Dish TV was aiming to create world's largest DTH operator
  • The talks now fell apart over valuation issues
  • Dish TV is now looking for a global financial investor to sell 50% stake

The merger talks between Airtel Digital TV and Dish TV finally fell apart over valuation. The country’ second and third largest DTH operators have been in talks for more than eight months to create the world’s largest DTH operator. However, the talks have now called off and the merger is not happening. Essel Group, the promoters of Dish TV, is now said to be looking for a global financial investor to pick up half of the stake in the DTH operator. Dish TV is currently the second largest DTH player in India only sitting behind Tata Sky. Essel Group will now be looking to generate some cash by selling Dish TV’ stake so that it can use the cash to buy back 5% of Zee Entertainment Enterprises (ZEEL).

Airtel Digital TV and Dish TV Merger Cancelled

After being in talks for more than eight months, the merger talks between Airtel Digital TV and Dish TV have ended. The merger is not happening over valuation issues. A recent report said that Essel Group is looking for an all-cash deal so that it can buy back ZEEL, however, Airtel Digital TV is willing to have an all-stock deal. When we reported last time, it was said that the merged talks were in the hold, but a new report from Business Standard says the talks have ended and the merger is not happening.

The latest report also says Essel Group is looking for a ‘global financial investor’ who can buy half of Dish TV’ stakes. The group is expecting around Rs 2,000 crore from the deal if it finds any investor. “The cash generated from such a sale will be used as part of the plan by the Essel group to buy back 5% in flagship company Zee Entertainment Enterprises (ZEEL) in the next 12 months,” added the report.

Airtel Digital TV Would Have Benefitted With Dish TV Merger

While Essel Group was keen on merging with Airtel Digital TV, the deal would have actually benefitted the latter. Dish TV has a market share of over 30% and a subscriber base of 23.94 million, whereas Airtel Digital TV has just 23.69% market share with a subscriber base hovering around 15-16 million. Dish TV is in safe hands as it might regain the top spot from Tata Sky very soon, but it will take several years for Airtel Digital TV to catch up with Dish TV and Tata Sky.

In addition to that, Bharti Airtel is facing the heat from Reliance Jio which has already acquired Hathway and DEN Networks. The DTH arm of Bharti Airtel is aggressively looking to expand DTH operations to take on Jio’s Triple Play service.

There’s no doubt that Dish TV is in severe financial troubles, but once the new Trai NTO 2.0 becomes effective, the company is expected to settle down. It will be interesting to see how Airtel Digital TV takes on Reliance Jio going forward and the latter from acquiring new customers.

Chakri is a go-to guy for your next smartphone recommendation. Back in his engineering days, he used to play with smartphones by installing custom ROMs and that passion got him into the tech industry. He still goes nuts about a smartphone knocking his door for review. Currently managing everything at Telecom Talk, Chakri is trying to master PUBG Mobile in his free time.

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Why these big players are not starting the IPTV service?

Cant BSNL, Airtel, Reliance Jio, ACT and Hathway start these service? Is there any corporate politics in this? IPTV service will make many people life easier.


Now a days App TV dominates, before TV telecast and without ads.


Are saying about the OTT apps in the market? if you mean that, thats not fair actually. Indian uneducated people and all the old people still prefer channels and those programs. There IPTV will come into play. in IPTV people can watch the normal channels, and also the OTT apps content. Satisfying all kind of viewers in the single connection and in single billing. I was expecting this a lot from the Jio Fiber. Finally they cheated the consumers without providing that. I just wanted to know why the big and established companies like Jio and Airtel is not bring… Read more »

Recent Posts

BSNL Unveils 3 New 50 Mbps Broadband Plans Under Rs 700

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has unveiled three new Bharat Fiber plans with 50 Mbps speeds in its Punjab circle...

Supreme Court Asks Why Jio Shouldn’t Be Paying AGR Dues for Using Spectrum of RCom

AGR (Adjusted Gross Revenue) dues have become a major pain for the telecom industry of India. It has affected not...

Sun Direct Expands Independence Day Packages to Other States

Yesterday we reported about the new discount offer that Sun Direct is providing with the Tamil DPO 1 channel pack....