DTH

Airtel Digital TV, Dish TV merger talks on

The idea is to fight Jio with the consolidated operation

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MUMBAI: Sunil Bharti Mittal-led Bharti Airtel is not only scaling up its business in the broadband segment but is also trying to cement its presence in the DTH sector. Mittal has started talks with Dish TV to merge Airtel Digital TV with the leading DTH player.

According to a report by Economic Times, the talks are now at an exploratory stage. The report also added quoting a source that the idea is to consolidate operations for facing the Jio onslaught. If the talk reaches a positive conclusion, the combined entity will be the world’s largest TV distribution company with over 38 million subscribers along with 61 per cent DTH market share in India.

The consolidation in DTH space started with mega merger of Dish TV and Videocon d2h. Earlier, Airtel was in talks with another leading DTH player Tata Sky also but the parties could not reach any agreement.

According to TRAI data, Dish TV combined with Videocon d2h leads with a 37 per cent market share as of September 2018 followed by Tata Sky’s 27 per cent and Airtel Digital TV stood with 24 per cent.

In the third quarter, Dish TV had 23.6 million subscribers and it reported operating revenue of Rs 1,517.4 crore while Airtel Digital TV had 15 million subscribers with revenue of Rs 1,033 crore.  However, Airtel Digital TV’s ARPU was higher at Rs 231 compared to Dish TV’s ARPU of Rs 200.

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