Dish TV has Rs 14 bn investment plan in 2 years

MUMBAI: Subhash Chandra-promoted direct-to-home (DTH) service provider Dish TV plans to invest Rs 14 billion over the next two years as it plans to ramp up its subscriber base.

The company has already received Rs 4.05 billion as part of the proceeds in the second tranche of the Rs 11.40 billion rights issue.


"Dish TV has already exhausted the Rs 3.10 billion it raised in the first tranche. The promoters have agreed that the second tranche can be given an early call. We plan to pump in Rs 14 billion over two years," says a source in the company.

Dish TV is also planning to raise between $100 to $150 million through foreign currency convertible bonds (FCCBs), though it has taken an enabling resolution from the board to raise up to $200 million.

The leading DTH market leader plans to add six million subscribers over the next two years.

"A major chunk of the investments will be towards customer acquisition. The subscriber acquisition cost is Rs 2600 and is likely to stay there in FY‘10 unless the rupee appreciates strongly. Our target is to add 2.5 million subscribers in FY‘10 and 3.5 million in FY‘10," the source adds.

Dish TV expects its content cost to fall from 59 per cent to 40 per cent for the fiscal. "We have moved away from per subscriber deals and entered into fixed fee contracts with broadcasters. We have also put the expensive pay channels under a la carte," the source says.

The ARPU (average revenue per user) should be in the region of Rs 165-175 in FY‘10. "For FY‘09, the ARPU on subscription stood at Rs 146 while on gross revenues it was at Rs 185," the source adds.

Dish TV is targeting a revenue of Rs 12.5 billion for the fiscal ended 31 March 2010, a jump of 70 per cent from the earlier-year period. It expects to turn operationally profitable this fiscal, says the source.

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