The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) today released ‘The Indian Telecom Services Performance Indicators’ data for the July-September quarter. The report says Tata Sky is still the topmost DTH operator in the country until September 30, 2019. However, Tata Sky needs to be worried as Dish TV is just a few thousand subscribers away from regaining its top spot which it lost to the former in the April-June quarter. As on September 30, 2019, Tata Sky had a market share of 31.61%, which is closely followed by Dish TV with 31.23% market. To recall, Tata Sky had a market share of 32% as on June 30, 2019, whereas Dish TV ha 31% share. So it’ safe to say Tata Sky has lost the market share during Q3 2019. As for other details, Airtel Digital TV is third on the list with 23.39% market share, and Sun Direct secured 13.78% share during the same period. Also, there are only four pay DTH operators right now in India, as opposed to five in the previous quarters.
Active DTH Subscriber Base Saw a Slight Increase
The latest tariff regime by Trai brought several changes to the broadcasting sector. Trai’s tariff regime became fully effective on April 1, 2019; In the first quarter itself (April-June 2019) of implementation itself, the total active DTH subscriber base dipped from 72.44 million to 68.92 million. However, during July-September 2019, the same count has been increased to 69.30 million, which is a good thing. Several DTH users ditched their Satellite TV connection and started opting for OTT subscriptions.
As noted, Tata Sky is the leading DTH service provider right now, followed by Dish TV, Airtel Digital TV and Sun Direct. We may see Dish TV regaining its top spot during the last quarter of 2019, owing to the introduction of an Android TV Set-Top Box.
Furthermore, Trai says it is important to note that previously (up to March 2019), the subscription figure of total active subscribers included inactive and temporarily suspended subscribers for not more than the last 120 days.
However, as per the new regulatory framework of Broadcasting and Cable TV Services, the total active subscribers are counted including only those subscribers which are inactive/temporarily suspended for not more than last 90 days.
Siti Networks Leads the Cable TV Sector
In the same report, Trai has revealed the Cable TV subscriber base as well. Siti Networks is the leading Cable TV service provider right now in India with a subscriber base of 9.1 million. It’s followed by GTPL Hathway and Hathway Digital with an overall subscriber number of 5.34 million and 5.31 million, respectively. Den Networks is fourth on the list with over 4.3 million subscribers under its belt.
As on September 30, 2019, there are 1,606 Multi-System Operators (MSOs) registered with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB). Out of these registered MSOs, only 1,143 are operational right now.
As per the reporting done by broadcasters in pursuance of the Tariff Order, there are 330 pay channels, as on September 30, 2019, including 232 SD Pay TV channels and 98 HD Pay TV channels.
Trai has recently published some amendments to the tariff regime and the active subscriber base may increase in the coming quarters due to these changes. The report also says that Independent TV has closed its DTH operations in the country which is the reason behind four DTH pay operators being displayed in the report.