Cable TV

Hathway plans to seed 2.5 lakh high definition set top boxes in FY19

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MUMBAI: Going along the lines of FY18, broadband and cable TV service provider Hathway Cable and Datacom is planning a Capex of Rs 310 crore in FY19. In addition to that, it plans to seed 2.5 lakh high definition (HD) set top boxes (STB) in FY19. The company had 2.16 lakh HD subscribers at the end of March 2018.

While in FY18 Hathway spent Rs 225 crore on broadband business and Rs 85 crore on the cable TV business, the company has a similar planning of expenditure in both the business for FY19. The company had 7.2 million cable TV subscribers along with a broadband subscriber base of 0.8 million.

“In FY18, we spent around Rs. 225 crore in broadband capex and around Rs. 85 crore in video business capex. We intend to spend similar capex in FY2019 as well. In terms of addition of consumers, we have seen good momentum so we are confident that this momentum will continue in FY2019 as well,” Hathway Cable and Datacom MD Rajan Gupta told analysts during an earnings call.

The company is focusing on four key markets including Maharastra, Mumbai, Karnataka, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and West Bengal.

Due to the inability to implement the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) upcoming tariff order and regulations, a number of MSOs may collapse. Taking the opportunity, company is looking to acquire customers of MSOs to increase market share. Along with increase in market share, increase in average revenue per user (ARPU), HD STB seeding will play key role in the subscription revenue growth in next fiscal year.

More importantly, Gupta revealed that the company has closed content deals with broadcasters for FY19. While net increase in content cost for FY19 will be Rs. 40 crore, however, there will be no increase in content cost for two to three large broadcasters.

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