India's Dish lifts revenues, adds DTH subscribers in Q2
Rebecca Hawkes
| 04 November 2014
Indian direct-to-home (DTH) operator Dish TV has reported operating revenues of INR6.723 billion (US$109.43 million) for the second quarter of its 2015 tax year, up 11.9% year-on-year.

Standalone subscription revenues reached INR6.168 billion ($100.38 million) for the quarter, an improvement of 12.2% for the same period in the previous tax year. EBITDA for the quarter was INR1.623 billion ($26.4 million) compared to INR1.554 billion ($25.3 million) in the corresponding quarter of the 2014 fiscal year. Net loss for the quarter was INR151 million ($2.46 million).

A healthy growth in high definition (HD) set-top box (STB) sales, "good traction" with its regional Zing brand, and new sports-driven packaging all encouraged an additional 378,000 net subscribers to Dish TV, the company says. Political stability with a new central government has also helped growth, the company's chairman said.

"A general feel good factor linked to hopes of an economic revival contributed to higher sales for the DTH industry. The industry, led by Dish TV, recorded a healthy 38% year-on-year growth in gross additions during the second quarter of fiscal 2015," said Subhash Chandra, chairman, Dish TV India.

"Our performance during the second quarter is a reflection of our belief that a financially stable business is best placed to capitalise on any growth opportunity."

The delay in the country's nationwide cable network digitisation programme will provide opportunities for both the early movers and those who could not monetise the roll-out from the first two phases, said Jawahar Goel, managing director, Dish TV.

"We do hope that the cable industry will ensure full implementation of gross billing, encryption and packaging in phase one and two during this extended time-period. For early movers like Dish TV, it's an opportunity to reach out uninterrupted to the masses in phase three and four and capture leading market share there," added Goel.

He also said the satellite TV operator was re-evaluating the use of domestic STBs following the Prime Minister's 'Make in India' campaign. "We are hopeful of improvement in the hardware economics of STBs sourced from India and hope that the taxation structure will be suitably amended to benefit local production," said Goel.