The top 15 Multi-System Operators (MSOs) in India boast of an active subscriber base of 52.33 million by April 1, 2019. The new report comes from the Trai data published on the subscriber count of the DTH industry. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India noted that Siti Networks, DEN Networks, Hathway Digital, GTPL Hathway, and IndusInd Media and Communications Ltd (IMCL) stand as the top five MSO in the country. The ministry of information and broadcasting (MIB) has also given inputs highlighting that only 14 MSOs boast of a million or more subscriber under their umbrella. Further, eight MSOs in the country have a subscriber base between half a million and a million. Up next, the industry has 17 MSOs with a subscriber base of 0.3-0.5 million, ten MSOs with 0.2-0.3 million subscribers and 33 MSOs having a small subscriber base of 0.1-0.2 million.
Trai Highlights Structural Issues in the Industry
It is also worth noting that the industry has smaller MSOs and five hundred of such which have a subscriber base of 2500 or less. The ministry of information and broadcasting currently has 1471 registered MSOs out of which 1143 are operational. The sector regulator, Trai, had recently published a white paper highlighting the benefits of the new regulatory framework for the MSOs. In this paper, the regulator noted that the 15 large MSOs control close to 78% share of the cable TV market. On the other hand, the smaller MSOs only have a 22% market share. It is crucial to note that these 15 large MSOs make up only 1.5% of the total 1100 MSOs present in the country and they control 78% of the cable TV subscriptions.
The telecom regulator had remarked on this situation that such a skewed scenario brings out the structural flaws in the system and points out the hurdles which are present on the path for fair competition.
MSOs in the Second Strata Working Regionally
Out of all the MSOs present in the country, with the top ones having 100 million subscribers, Siti Networks is the top MSO with an active subscriber base of 11.13 million. Siti Network remains operational in Punjab, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Kerala, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Bihar. DEN Network follows next with an active subscriber base of 7.03 million, and it has operations in Gujarat, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Kerala, Uttarakhand, Delhi-NCR, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, and Bihar. Next on the list are Hathway, GTPL and IMCL each with 6.69 million, 5.25 million and 4.54 million subscribers.
The next group of MSOs are mostly operational in single regions as opposed to the top MSOs which have operations spread across the country. These names include Fastway Transmission in North with 4.01 million subscribers, Tamil Nadu Arasu Cable TV Corporation with 3.22 million subscribers, Kerala Cable Communicators Ltd (KCCL) with 2.13 million subscribers, Asianet with 1.45 million subscribers among the others.