Tata Sky has invested Rs 35 billion in DTH venture

MUMBAI: Tata Sky, a joint venture between Tata Group and Star, has invested over Rs 35 billion in the direct-to-home (DTH) venture and has mopped up six million subscribers.

The company has revised upwards its funding requirement to over Rs 40 billion. Earlier, Tata Sky had revisited its investment plan and earmarked Rs 40 billion as its capital requirement.
“We have already spent over Rs 35 billion. The fund requirement will be over Rs 40 billion,” says Tata Sky managing director and chief executive officer Vikram Kaushik.

The company, still incurring losses, is on course for operational break even. “Our revenues are higher than even Dish TV. Our ARPUs (average revenue per user) are the highest in the industry,” says Kaushik, while refusing to give further details.

Tata Sky’s ARPUs, according to industry sources, stand at Rs 190. The industry’s ARPUs, on the other hand, fall in the region of Rs 135-150.  
Star has got the FIPB (Foreign Investment Promotion Board) nod to up its stake in Tata Sky from 20 per cent to 29.8 per cent. Star is buying for Rs 3.24 billion a 49 per cent stake in Tata Group’s investment firm TS Investments which will, in turn, buy a 20 per cent stake in Tata Sky. This will give effectively an additional 9.8 per cent stake to Star in Tata Sky.

“Star will hold close to 30 per cent in Tata Sky. The Tatas will have around 60 per cent and Temasek 10 per cent,” says Kaushik.

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