Dish TV ups STB price as step to expand margins

MUMBAI: Dish TV, India‘s largest direct-to-home (DTH) company, is hiking the price of its set-top boxes (STBs) by Rs 200 a unit from 1 July, a move that will allow it to save Rs 600 million in the fiscal as it plans to add three million subscribers.

Dish TV‘s second hike this year would mean that the STBs would now cost Rs 1390, helping the company to expand its operating margins. In February, the DTH company had increased the price of the STBs by Rs 200 to Rs 1190 a unit.

 The subscriber acquisition cost for Dish TV will now fall from Rs 2200 to Rs 2000, well below the industry average of Rs 2400.

"We are increasing the cost of the STBs by Rs 200 a unit at a time when the market uptake is strong. This will help us expand our operating margins. The subscriber acquisition cost will fall to Rs 2000," Dish TV chief executive officer RC Venkateish tells

Dish TV has reached close to 11 million subscribers, up from 10.4 million that it had at the end of March.

The company expects its operating margin to expand from 21.4 per cent in FY‘11 to 25-27 per cent this fiscal.

Though the overall content cost will go up this fiscal, it will be lower in percentage proportion to the company‘s subscription revenue. In FY‘11, Dish TV had paid Rs 5.04 billion to the broadcasters, which was 39 per cent of its subscription income. 

Dish TV expects to swing into net profit this fiscal as it plans to add 3.5 million subscribers and lift ARPUs up. The subscription revenue is expected to swell to Rs 19 billion in FY‘12, up from Rs 11.9 billion in the previous fiscal.

Dish TV‘s ARPU, which ended at Rs 142 in FY‘11, is expected to be in the region of Rs 160-165.

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