Videocon d2h expects break even with 4 mn subs by September 2011

MUMBAI: Videocon d2h, the direct-to-home (DTH) arm of Videocon Industries, expects to operationally break even after it reaches four million subscribers by September next year.

Videocon d2h has already reached two million DTH subscribers and is expecting to add another million by the end of this fiscal.
“We should be in a position to break even operationally after we reach four million subscribers. We expect to end FY’11 with a subscriber base of three million. We should be touching the four-million mark by September 2011,” says Videocon group director Saurabh Dhoot.

Videocon d2h has the advantage of manufacturing the set-top boxes, enabling it to keep costs low. “The Videocon brand has a powerful consumer pull. We are seeing strong subscriber growth from across India except Taimil Nadu and Kerala. About 40 per cent of our subscribers are from urban markets and 60 per cent from rural India,” avers Dhoot.
Videocon d2h claims that its ARPU (average revenue per user) stands at Rs 200.

Some Media analysts, however, feel that Videocon’s break even target sounds too ambitious. “The customer acquisition cost for the industry is around Rs 2600. Even with the advantage of manufacturing STBs, it would take some effort to break even with four million subscribers. For the sector, the ARPUs are on the lower side and Videocon d2h has two packages - at Rs 136 and Rs 265 per month,” says an analyst at a broking firm.

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