Tata Sky in sight of 3 million

Another Indian DTH platform nears a milestone: Tata Sky is just 100 subscribers short of 3 million.

Local reports quote Tata Sky’s managing director Vikram Kaushik revealing the up-to-date count at a seminar. Just over a week ago, rival and market leader Dish TV revealed it had 4.4 million subs, adding over 400,000 during October alone.

But Dish’s claim then that it had 53% of the DTH market looks somewhat over-egged, given Tata Sky’s 3 million and that Sun Direct, at last count, had 1.7 million. Add in Reliance Big TV’s half a million and that makes 5.2 million – rather more than 4.4 million subs, putting Dish’s share somewhere around 46%. (And nor do these figures include any subs from Airtel Digital TV which launched in early October and has yet to report any subscriber figures.)

One thing that all the operators are likely to agree on, however, is Tata Sky’s Kaushik’s assertion that the operators pay too much in taxes. “We are overburdened with taxation and licence fees,” he said. “If Tata Sky collects Rs300 on subscription, about Rs150 goes away in taxes.”
Tata Sky is a 80/20 joint venture between the Tata Group and News Corp's Star TV.