Cable TV

Siti Cable and Dish TV join hands to form ‘Comnet’

MUMBAI: Dr Subhash Chandra led Essel Group believes in innovation and how. The two companies from the group, multi system operator (MSO) Siti Cable Network and direct to home (DTH) player Dish TV have formed a joint venture (JV) to deal with the ever growing content cost. Christened ‘Comnet’, the JV will help synergise the strengths of both the organisations in dealing with broadcasters.


Essel Group has synergies in broadcast, cable, DTH and over the top (OTT) services. “When we look at either of these platforms, the key to its existence is content. The cost of content today is increasing rapidly and at a pace with which even the connections in the market aren’t growing,” tells Siti Cable CEO VD Wadhwa to


According to Wadhwa, while the consumer average revenue per user (ARPU) levels is increasing in single digits, broadcasters, who sign one-year deals with distribution platforms, expect the revenues grow anywhere between 20-60 per cent. “This is impractical, unsustainable and is no way any business model will evolve or work,” he adds.  


The reason both Dish TV and Siti Cable have come together is to be able to make the best use of each other’s advantages and disadvantages. While DTH doesn’t enjoy as much carriage as cable gets, when it comes to content deals, DTH platforms have an upper hand. “While my input cost, which is the content cost is growing at a fast pace, I am not being able to drive the market price. If consumer ARPUs remain low, we can’t allow the content cost to go up. Also considering both the platforms target the same set of consumers in the market, it made more sense for us to join hands to deal with broadcasters,” informs Wadhwa.


Dish TV CEO RC Venkateish says, “This move will help both the entities to provide quality content at affordable price to consumers.”


Both, the DTH and cable platform currently is unable to pass on the increased input cost to the customer. “And then there are the additional taxes. The Delhi government recently increased the entertainment tax from Rs 20 to Rs 40, not realizing that it is a price sensitive market. Neither the consumer nor the broadcaster is ready to take the burden of the increasing cost. In order to protect our business model and remain a consumer friendly company and comply with all the rules and regulations, we thought of coming together,” he says.  


The JV will help the duo in not just controlling deals with broadcasters, but also in sourcing equipments. “Both Dish TV and Siti Cable need set top boxes. There are a lot of synergies if we work together,” he adds.


Between Siti Cable and Dish TV, the two currently have more than 2 crore subscribers, which in the next two years, according to Wadhwa will go up to 4 crore. “If we are currently present in 2 crore households, we are talking of almost 9-10 per cent of India’s population. This gives us a lot of leverage,” he says.


According to Wadhwa, while the broadcasters have already come together to work for the advantage of the broadcasting sector, the distribution platforms too need to work in a synergy. “While that is currently not possible, at least the two companies in the group should start working together immediately,” he opines.


As part of the JV, the duo will hold joint discussions with broadcasters, taking joint call on the deals. “If the broadcaster wants to arm twist Siti Cable, it has to be careful that Dish TV may also react or vice versa,” he informs.  


Starting 1 July, 2015, it is ‘Comnet’ that will do the negotiations with broadcasters for both the platforms together. Post that, a direct contract between the broadcaster and the distribution platform will be signed. “The benefit will be shared between Dish TV and Siti Cable,” concludes Wadhwa.

Latest Reads
Competition regulator okays Goldman Sachs stake purchase in Den Networks

Investment banking major Goldman Sachs has received the Competition Commission's approval to increase its stake in Den Networks to over 24 per cent by acquiring additional shares through preferential allotment route.

Cable TV Multi System Operators
DAS petitions challenging constitutional provisions listed for 3 November

With the division bench taking cognisance of several cases relating the digital addressable system (DAS) Phase III which challenge constitutional provisions, the Delhi High Court will hear the DAS cases on 3 November, 2016

Cable TV DAS
MSOs finally cross 1000 as pan-India DAS deadline nears

With less than three months to go for the deadline of the final phase which will complete cable digitlization all over the country, the total number of multi-system operators has finally crossed 1000 with 774 getting provisional licences till 30 September 2016.

Cable TV Multi System Operators
Several DAS III petitions may be transferred to Division Bench of Delhi High Court

NEW DELHI: The Digital Addressable System (DAS) Phase III legal wrangle is moving on, albeit slowly and steadily.  Lawyers appearing on behalf of the multi-system cable TV operators (MSO) will inform a single-judge bench of the Delhi High Court about a large volume of cases relating to DAS III...

Cable TV DAS
Going a la carte with Star and Indiacast has helped: Bibhu Prasad Rath

Bhibu Rath heads one of the small regional cable TV players in the TV distribution business: Ortel Communications. The MSO began as a local player in the state of Odisha. But, it has since spread into neighboring states such as Chattishgarh, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. In fact, it...

Cable TV Multi System Operators
Bihar govt trebles cable TV entertainment tax to Rs 50

Even as the government is working on subsuming entertainment and other incidental taxes into a goods and service tax (GST) which would be around 18 per cent, cable TV subscribers in Bihar are about to be delivered a blow to their wallets.

Cable TV Multi System Operators
DEN seeks Goldman Sachs investment nod from shareholders

MUMBAI: Leading Indian multisystem cable TV operator (MSO) DEN Networks –promoted by Sameer Manchanda- which got its board’s nod to issue another 1.58 crore shares at a price of Rs 90 per share to existing investor Goldman Sachs is now seeking shareholder approval for the same through an...

Cable TV Multi System Operators
NXT Digital-InCable merger gets shareholder nod; D’Silva bemoans lack of ecosystem support

MUMBAI: Hinduja Ventures Ltd’s (HVL’s) proposal to demerge its NXT Digital headend in the sky (HITS) business from its subsidiary Grant Investrade Ltd (GIL) and merge it into its cable TV MSO offshoot Indusind Media & Communications Ltd (IMCL) got the thumbs up from its shareholders at its...

Cable TV Multi System Operators
Comcast to launch wireless service using Verizon

Here is good news for all Comcast subscribers. The US cable giant’s chief executive Brian Roberts has announced the launch of a wireless service by mid-2017. It plans to create a service that would run on its 15 million WiFi hotspots and use Verizon's wireless network through a deal struck in 2011...

Cable TV Multi System Operators

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories