Telecom Partnerships Driving Sun NXT Subscriber Growth

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Prabhudas Lilladher, a financial services company in a report on Monday said that “Sun TV is grossly under-invested in Sun NXT,” a over-the-top (OTT) platform focusing on South Indian languages. The financial services company is said to have had “interaction” with the Sun TV management with the broadcaster highlighting that it plans to spend Rs 2 billion towards its Sun NXT platform. In its report, Prabhudas Lilladher highlighted that the Sun NXT platform has around 18 million users with the majority of the subscribers acquired through the partnerships with telecom operators.

Sun NXT Organic Count Less Than 10%

The financial services company said that Sun NXT has less than 10% organic subscriber growth with the operator typically charging Rs 50 per month as subscription charges.

“While Rs2bn has been ear-marked towards Sun NXT in FY22, we believe Sun TV will have to significantly improve library content and investment in its OTT platform given gradual migration in viewing patterns from linear TV to digital,” Prabhudas Lilladher said in its report.

In comparison, Prabhudas Lilladher said that the quarterly operating cost of Zee5, a OTT platform run by Zee Entertainment Enterprises is between Rs 2.5 billion to Rs 2.6 billion.

It has to be noted that Sun NXT and Sun Direct, the fourth largest Direct-to-Home (DTH) service operated by Sun TV Network were in focus on the broadcaster’s second quarter earnings call in November. SL Narayanan, group CFO of Sun TV Network in the second quarter earnings call said that the company will invest up to Rs 2 billion a year on “content exclusively for Sun NXT.” The group CFO of Sun TV Network also highlighted that the company witnesses 40,000 to 50,000 new users “every time some movie premieres on SunNXT.”

Sun NXT Required to Scale Up Library Content

Prabhudas Lilladher said that the annual operating cost of Zee5 is likely around Rs 10 billion to Rs 11 billion with the Zee5 platform also hosting over 100 original shows.

“Currently, no web-series is being aired on Sun NXT (only movies are being shown) while ZEE5 has a library of 100+ original shows & movies,” Prabhudas Lilladher said in its report. “We thus believe Sun TV is grossly under-invested in Sun NXT and will have to scale up its library content significantly in the near future.”

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Born in India, Yogesh loves to travel and has lived in multiple countries including New Zealand and Canada. His bylines can be found on various newspapers and blogs throughout the world, including Vancouver Sun, Surrey Now-Leader, Daily Hive , Investing News Network and Rach F1.

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