India DTH growing fast

India’s DTH operators signed up 1.7 million subscribers in November, comfortably outpacing cable. Dish TV has added 500,000 subscribers in November as it crosses the nine million mark. India’s largest DTH service has added 2.26 million subscribers during this year.

Says Dish TV chief executive officer RC Venkateish, “It looks like we will be performing beyond our targets. We may exceed our guidance of adding three million subscribers in FY 2011.”

“It has been a great year for DTH. But the long term sustainability of the sector will depend on correcting the fundamental flaws that confront all of us – higher taxation and content cost. We must have a level playing field,” says Airtel Digital TV director and CEO Ajai Puri.

The ARPUs continue to be low for the sector. “Our ARPUs have slightly inched up,” says Venkateish. For the second-quarter, Dish TV’s ARPU was at Rs 139.