Dish TV narrows Q3 net loss to Rs 443 mn, adds 1.1 mn subs

MUMBAI: Dish TV has narrowed its third-quarter net loss to Rs 443 million, down from Rs 452 million in the trailing quarter and Rs 763 million in the earlier year, as it saw strong subscriber growth and a buoyancy in revenues.

The DTH operator added 1.1 million new subscribers, out of which 500,000 were acquired in the month of November itself. The gross subscriber base has now reached 9.4 million, while the net subscriber base is 7.7 million.

In the trailing quarter, the company had added 0.76 million subscribers.

Dish TV‘s revenues stood at Rs 3.75 billion, representing a 14.1 per cent growth over the trailing quarter and a 35 per cent growth over the year-ago period.

Subscription revenue accounted for Rs 3.09 billion, up 14.4 per cent from the second quarter.

The Ebitda for the quarter under review was Rs 684 million, up from Rs 523 million posted in the previous quarter.

Dish TV India chairman Subhash Chandra said, "Having consistently garnered an incremental market share above 25 per cent in a six player market, Dish TV?s strategic initiatives have been delivering commendable results.?

Dish TV‘s subscriber acquisition cost (SAC) increased marginally to Rs 2,142 from Rs 2,083 in the trailing quarter. Dish TV clarified that it is largely due to higher selling and distribution expenses and enhanced box subsidy due to aggressive competition at the acquisition front.
Dish TV‘s ARPU (average revenue per user) went up marginally to Rs 142 as compared to Rs 139 in the trailing quarter and Rs 135 in corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal.

Said Chandra, ?Despite adding more than 1 million subscribers in the third quarter, Dish TV drove ARPU to Rs 142. The recently increased transponder capacity will further enable Dish TV to build on its ability to generate higher revenues by offering a significantly enhanced high definition bouquet.?

During the quarter, Dish TV had acquired additional transponders on Asiasat with ?Antriksh? resulting in bandwidth increase from 432 MHz to 648 MHz. 
Dish TV kept content cost as a percentage of subscription revenue controlled at 39 per cent, same as the previous quarter.

However, subscriber churn, at 0.7 per cent per month till last quarter, has gone up to 0.9 per cent per month in the three-month period ended December.

Dish TV MD Jawahar Goel said, ?It was a strong quarter operationally and we are now close to crossing the hump. Dish TV is just half a million less than the critical 10 million subscriber mark and remains committed to break even at the bottom-line and turn free cash flow positive at the earliest. With recent operational initiatives, margin improvements and cash generation would get further strengthened.?

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