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10.4 lakh DTH subscribers added in Oct-Dec 18 quarter in India

29.3 lakh net subscribers were added in CY 2018.

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BENGALURU: In calendar year 2018 (1 January 2018 to 31 December 2018), India’s private direct to home (DTH) service providers added 29.3 lakh net subscribers of which 10.4 lakh additions were made in the last quarter of the calendar year (Oct-Dec 2018, Q3 2019, period under review).

According to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) quarterly Indicator Reports, DTH has attained net pay active subscriber base of around  704.9 lakh (70.49 million, 7.049 crore)  with five pay DTH service providers as on 31 December, 2018. This is in addition to the subscribers of the free DTH services of Doordarshan. Quarterly growth in the DTH sector in terms of the net active subscriber base and market share of DTH operators in terms of the percentage of net active subscribers during the quarter is depicted in the following charts.

Two major DTH players - Airtel Direct TV (Airtel DTH) and the merged Dish TV Videocon d2h entity (Dish TV) have about 55 percent of the market share of private DTH subscribers in the country. During CY 2018, these two players added 17.06 lakh (1.706 million, 0.1706 crore) subscribers, or 58.2 percent of the net subscribers that were added by all the five private DTH players in the country. Airtel DTH added 10.63 lakh (1.063 million, 0.1063 crore) net subscribers, while Dish TV added 6.43 lakh (0.643 million, 0.0643 crore) during the period under review.

As per the latest TRAI quarterly Indicator Reports, the highest number of DTH subscribers in 2018 by private players were added in the Apr-Jun quarter with 18.4 lakh (1.84 million, 0.184 crore) subscriber additions. In the first quarter of CY 2018, the private DTH players lost 30,000 subscribers. Please refer to the figure below for the private DTH subscriber trends during CY-2018.

Dish TV is by far the largest DTH player in the country and probably the second largest globally. As on 31 December 2018, Dish TV claimed a net active subscriber base of 236 lakh (23.6 million, 2.36 crore) while Airtel DTH claimed a net active subscriber base of 150 lakh (15 million, 1.5 crore).

The government’s DD Free Dish DTH service claims to reach out to nearly 300 lakh (30 million) as per reports and the FICCI-EY 2019 report, it has the capability to breach the 50 million mark if broadcasters keep supplying it with pay-TV content. It must however be noted that an exact number for registered or active subscribers is not available since this is a free DTH service.

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