Dish TV crosses 8 mn subs, scales up growth forecast

MUMBAI: Dish TV has scaled up its growth forecast for the fiscal as it mops up 1.1 million subscribers since 1 April, gaining from an improved economy and a stronger demand for DTH service in a sports-heavy year.

Dish TV has crossed eight million subscribers and hopes to end the financial year closer to the 10-million mark, retaining its market leadership position by some distance.

The direct-to-home (DTH) operator is targeting three million subscribers during the full-fiscal period, up from its original forecast of acquiring 2.5 million customers.
“We have scaled up our customer acquisition target from 2.5 million to three million in FY’11. We have had a very good start, adding 1.1 million subscribers, due to our better distribution in the market. Customers have also liked our content packages and pricing,” says Dish TV COO Salil Kapoor.

The DTH sector has gathered 2.5 million subscribers during the first three months of the fiscal, much in line with the forecast of adding 11 million customers in 12 months. Estimates peg the customer acquisition figure at 4.1 million for the period from April to 25 August.
“We don’t see any reason to revise upwards our forecast for the sector and stick to the 11 million figure. It is just that some players are doing better,” says Kapoor.

For the fiscal’s first quarter, Airtel Digital TV has added 700000 subscribers and has a total base of 3.6 million customers. During the same period, Tata Sky and Sun Direct have collected 420,000 subscribers each. Big TV and Videocon d2h have taken home 210,000 and 190,000 customers respectively, according to industry estimates.

“We have added 700,000 subscribers in the first quarter. The market is definitely looking better than what it was last year. ARPUs (average revenue per user), however, have almost stayed flat,” says Bharti Airtel director & CEO – DTH Ajai Puri.

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