Dish TV India said that the average revenue per user (ARPU) “could remain on the lower side” in the upcoming quarters “due to the fragile environment.” The company behind the brands like Dish TV, Zing and d2h on Thursday released its fourth quarter results for the period ended March 31, 2020. Dish TV India reported consolidated subscription revenues of Rs 776.6 crore for the period ended March 31 while its operating revenues touched Rs 869.1 crore for the same period. However, the company reported a consolidated net loss of Rs 1456.2 crore as the company recognized impairment loss amounting to Rs 1915.5 crores with respect to the d2h cash-generating unit.
D2h Merger Drags Dish TV India Financial Results
Dish TV said that the profit before exceptional items touched Rs 55.5 crores during the quarter ended March 31, 2020. The company reported Rs 82.3 crores loss in the same period in the previous year.
“The Goodwill acquired pursuant to the merger of the Company with erstwhile Videocon d2H Limited is periodically tested for impairment to ensure that it is carried at no more than its recoverable amount,” Dish TV India said in the earnings release.
The company said that it focused on “subscriber retention and the addition of quality subscribers” during its fourth quarter. Dish TV India said that the television became the “default fallback option” for its users during the COVID-19 lockdown including its users “who had been irregular in recharging their DTH connections.” The company is said to have witnessed a spike in renewals and recharges during the COVID-19 lockdown “with digital mediums constituting 76% of all subscriptions received by the Company.”
“Though our revenues were positively impacted by the higher number of win backs and recharge during the initial days of the lockdown, we could not be complacent during such trying times and went all out to scan every cost-centre for greater operational efficiencies,” Anil Dua, group CEO of Dish TV India, said in the release.
The company said that it “remains optimistic” about a complete and “safe resumption” of the filming of television episodes.
Dish TV India also highlighted that the company has become the “first private sector company” in the country to start a Ku band teleport.
“The service would place the Company in a unique position to uplink niche channels in the Ku band,” Dish TV said in the release. “When fully commercialized, the facility would help the distribution of such channels in a highly cost-effective manner.”
The company said that the “future course of the pandemic is unpredictable” but expects that the services like television “should remain relevant” in the short to medium term. Dish TV India also said that the consumers might migrate from expensive services including Internet Protocol television (IPTV) to DTH and cable TV.
“Brands like Dish TV and d2h which have a strong rural connect could hope to get new connections and re-activations as value conscious subscribers reach hinterlands where, unlike cities, cable television may not be an option,” Jawahar Goel, CMD of Dish TV India, said in the release.
The company said that the migration of workers from metro cities back to their villages “could be a double-edged sword.”
“The other scenario could be that we may have to fight for subscriber share with free-to-air platforms,” Goel said. “Another challenge could be in the form of rural unemployment where the consumer is unable to spend on entertainment even if he wants to. We expect the rural recovery to be a tailwind in either scenario.”
Watcho to Introduce Regional Content to Attract Subscribers
Meanwhile, Dish TV India said that Watcho, the in-house over-the-top (OTT) platform has hit five million plus subscribers by the end of May 2020. The Watcho platform is said to have hit the one million subscriber mark in January and three million mark by the end of March.
The company said that the Watcho platform leveraged its inventory of web series to introduce four new series and two non-fiction originals at a time when other platforms and channels were running replays.
Dish TV India had earlier expanded the Watcho platform to Amazon Fire TV stick, Dish SMRT Hub and Dish SMRT stick.
“Soon, the OTT platform would be releasing content in different Indian languages to reach out to subscribers who prefer content in their local language,” Dish TV India said in the earnings release.