The top five pay Direct-to-the-Home (DTH) service providers in the fourth quarter of FY19 added a total of 1.95 million subscribers, thus increasing the total subscriber base comprising of DTH subscribers to 72.44 million as per the latest data compiled by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai). Trai’s Performance Indicator Report for the quarter also denoted that the active subscriber base was 70.49 million in the preceding quarter. Bharti Airtel had also published that its DTH arm, Airtel Digital TV had also added 3.91 lakh net subscribers in the stated period. Also, Dish TV had reported comparatively lesser subscriber addition of 47,000 subscribers during this quarter.
Tata Sky and Sun Direct Add Large Chunk of Pay Subscribers
Also, the data highlighted that Tata Sky and Sun Direct added much of the active net subscribers, whereas Independent TV is not in a good spot as the company is managing to somehow stay afloat during the times of financial trouble. Looking at the data for previous quarters, in Q1 of FY19, the DTH operators had added 18.4 million net active subscribers, while in the second quarter, the subscriber additions were only 80,000. In the last quarter, which was the Q3 of FY19 the net active subscriber addition was 1.04 million. In the fiscal year of 2018-19, the total subscriber addition was 4.91 million.
Dish TV Occupying Largest Market Share
In the quarter ending March, there were five pay DTH service providers in India which included Dish TV, Tata Sky, Airtel Digital TV, Sun Direct and Independent TV (formerly Reliance Digital TV). This was in addition to the single free DTH provider, DD Free Dish. In the last quarter, the market share of these DTH providers remained unchanged in comparison to the quarter before. Dish TV occupied 40% of the pie, whereas Tata Sky boasted of having 25% market share. Airtel Digital TV currently has 22% market share, Sun Direct has 12%, and Independent TV has only 1% market share.
India Completes 100% Digitisation of Cable TV Connections
Trai in its quarterly report said that the addressability of the cable TV sector has been completed owing to the digitisation and it also added that India has managed to achieve 100% cable digitisation. As per Trai, this is a significant achievement as India has become the only country where 100% digital cable has been completed through the means of mandatory regulations. In the quarter ending March, there were 1,469 Multi System Operators (MSOs) registered with the ministry of information and broadcasting (MIB).
Trai’s data also informed that currently there are 902 private satellite channels which have got the permission from uplinking only/downlinking only/uplinking and downloading both. Also, there are 328 pay channels, out of which 229 are SD pay channels, and 99 are HD pay channels.