DTH Operators Add Over One Million Net Pay Subscribers in Q3 FY19: Trai Data

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The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) published the Indian Telecom Services Performance Indicators report for Q3 FY19 - October-December 2018, quarter. From the industry perspective, this third quarter was a very crucial one since this period also witnessed the rollout of the new tariff regime in the country. As per this report, the five DTH companies combined added 1.04 million net pay active subscribers. On December 31, 2018, the total net pay subscriber base of the five private DTH operators stood at 70.49 million. This was quite a climb from the previous figure of net pay subscribers of 69.45 million which was recorded at the end of the previous July-September quarter.

Dish TV Registers a Subscriber Count Loss, While Sun Direct Gains

In the third quarter of the FY19, Dish TV amassed 1,42,000 net subscribers whereas the DTH wing of Bharti Airtel, Airtel Digital TV’s total net subscriber addition figure totalled 2,22,000. The quarter did not treat Dish TV very well since the provider witnessed a 1% dip in its subscriber base as compared to the previous July – September quarter in 2018. The case was quite the opposite for South India based DTH service provider, Sun Direct which witnessed a 1% increase in its subscriber base.

The Trai data also shed some light on the market share of these companies and revealed that Dish TV boasted of 40% market share, followed by Tata Sky with 25% share, Airtel Digital TV stood at 22%, while Sun Direct and Independent TV stood at 12% and 1% respectively.

The data was also significant to the channel count as it revealed, based on the broadcaster reporting in pursuance to the Trai tariff order that there are 330 pay channels currently running on the screens. The data stood valid on December 32, 2018, and also added that there were 231 SD pay TV channels and 99 HD Pay TV channels.

The Trai report also highlighted that the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has permitted uplinking only/downlinking only/uplinking and downloading both for a total of 880 private satellite TV channels.

Private FM Radio Station Count Rises to 349

The data did not only remain limited to TV channels but also covered the radio broadcasting industry as well. On this front, the report highlighted that as on December 31, 2018, there were 355 operational private FM Radio stations in 97 cities. This was also an improvement from the previous figure of 349 private FM Radio Stations in 94 towns with operational 33 FM Radio broadcasters in the July – September, last quarter.

In its recent statement, the industry regulator has also revealed that almost all DTH subscribers have migrated to the new Trai tariff regime. As per the regulator, the total subscriber count of migrated consumers to the new pricing structure stands at 190 million.

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Arpit spends his day closely following the telecom and tech industry. A music connoisseur and a night owl, he also takes a deep interest in the Indian technology start-up scene and spends rest of his time spilling poetry and stories on paper.

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