Tata Sky is the Topmost DTH Operator in the Country Now After Outranking Dish TV

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Since a long time, Dish TV has ruled the DTH industry by boasting of the most number of subscribers, however, finally the crown has been taken away from Dish TV, and by now you might have guessed already that the title of the top DTH operator in the country now belongs to Tata Sky. In terms of average active subscriber base, Tata Sky has now emerged as the top DTH operator. As per the Performance Indicator Report (PIR) drafted by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) for the April-June 2019 quarter, Tata Sky has ranked on the top spot for the average number of active DTH subscribers.


Tata Sky Gets Most Number of Active Subscribers

In the quarter ending June, Tata Sky’s market share had climbed up to 32% in regards with the average active subscriber base while Dish TV’s market share for the same parameter fell down to 31%. In the previous quarter of January to March, Tata Sky and Dish TV boasted of 25% and 40% market share respectively. The stats about the active DTH subscribers highlight that Tata Sky witnessed an increase of 7% in its market share whereas, Dish TV saw a decline of 9% in its market share. When it came to active subscriber base, Bharti Airtel’s DTH arm, Airtel Digital TV and South India based DTH operator, Sun Direct also witnessed positive growth. The Airtel Digital TV’s subscriber base was at 23%, and Sun Direct’s was at 14% respectively. As compared to this, in the previous quarters, Airtel Digital TV and Sun Direct were at 22% and 12%.

It is quite possible that Tata Sky has been helped by the consumer-centric moves that it has put in place for luring the DTH subscribers. After the implementation of the new Trai tariff regime, when the industry grew competitive, Tata Sky introduced new offers for the subscribers which included a reduced Set-Top Box pricing, a new long term offer and more. These consumer-centric moves are likely the reason why subscribers stuck to Tata Sky, whereas some migrated from Dish TV, and the others left DTH services altogether.

Independent TV License Revoked by MIB

Last in the list of these DTH operators was Independent TV whose license was suspended by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB). Before this, Independent TV boasted of 1% market share by active subscriber base. The MIB suspended the license of Independent TV because the ministry received numerous complaints from subscribers saying that the operator had done a total blackout of DTH services. Now, the MIB will consider reissuing the license again only if the DTH operator resumes the channel transmission.

Total Active Subscriber Base in DTH Industry Headed Towards Decline

As per the Trai report, the four top DTH operators have amassed an average active subscriber base of around 54.36 million in addition to the subscriber of DD Free Dish. In the January-March quarter, the five pay DTH operators had attained a net active subscriber base of around 72.44 million. However, at the end of the quarter on March 31, the subscriber base count stood only at 70.49 million, thus showing a decline. It is worth noting that the parameter of average active subscriber base means the number arrived by averaging the active subscriber base as on 7th day, 14th day, 21st day, 28th day, of the month.

Also, the Trai report notes that there a total of 908 private channels allowed for uplinking only/downlinking only/uplinking and downloading both permitted by the MIB. The report which was filed by the broadcasters notes that there are 331 pay channels, which include 233 SD pay-TV channels and 98 HD Pay TV channels. By June 30, there were 1,469 Multi-System Operators (MSOs) registered with the MIB.

Reported By


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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