CMS study says cable losing to DTH

MUMBAI: DTH is gaining ground against cable TV amongst Indian TV viewers. That’s the finding of a rapid assessment study conducted by the Delhi-based Centre for Media Studies for the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai).

Conducted in April 2010 in 22 cities and over 4,435 households, the study has revealed that an increasing number of Indian TV viewers are wary of paying more to local cable operators. Only 25 per cent of survey respondents said they would pay more, as against 90 per cent in the previous survey in 2007.
Respondents said that they did not expect any improvement in the service even after coughing up more. They added that if they had to pay more, they would prefer to do so for a DTH service. But some of them also said that the high initial installation charges for DTH were proving a deterrent.

Overall the survey revealed that average cable TV rates have fallen nationally. Reason: DTH services are offering competition to cable TV, because of which cable TV operators have been forced to cut rates.

The national level average cable TV rates have fallen from Rs 200 in 2007 to Rs 185. In the case of Chennai rates had fallen to Rs 106 (Rs 146 with CAS in 2007), The average cable TV rates for Kolkata had fallen to Rs 161 (Rs 171 in 2007). Other cities which showed a downward trend included: Hyderabad (Rs 153 against Rs 169 in 2007), Chandigarh (Rs 165 vs Rs 212), and Bangalore (Rs 209 vs Rs 211). 
Cities which showed an upward trend included Ahmedabad (Rs 259 vs Rs 217 in 2007), Mumbai (Rs 248 against Rs 240 in 2007) and Delhi (Rs 183 vs Rs 156). Shillong cable TV subscribers were paying the higest with a monthly subscription fee of Rs 319.

The quick study also examined how many channels were being watched in Indian homes on average. Most respondents said they watched an average between seven and 15 channels. Tatangar and Kochi topped the list with 15 channels. The figure for Mumbai and Kolkata was 10 channels, while TV viewers in Bengaluru and Delhi watched only eight and those in Chennai said they tuned into nine.

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