DTH

Coke's Sunil Gupta joins Dish TV as managing director

MUMBAI: Even as Tata Sky DTH service is set for a mid-2006 launch, Zee's DTH service Dish TV is ramping up to stay ahead of the competition. The company has roped in former Coke India VP External Affairs, South Asia Sunil Gupta as managing director. Dish TV already has Sunil Khanna as CEO.

While confirming his appointment to indiantelevision.com, Gupta said his initial responsibilities would include increasing Dish TV's subscriber base and penetration of the service across the country. "We will be launching the movie-on-demand service in December," he adds.

On being queried about the corporate reporting structure, Gupta said he"will be working along with Khanna." New Era Entertainment Network Limited (NEENL) manages the affairs of Dish TV. Zee Telefilms holds 20 per cent stake in the company.

Gupta started his career with The Times of India and played a significant role in the launch of the Lucknow edition. He went on to become the CEO of Lucknow Times of India and Navbharat Times. Gupta also launched the Jaipur edition of The Times of India. Then he moved on to Dainik Jagaran and worked in the capacity of MD and managing editor, Delhi.

Gupta also had a stint at Jain TV as COO. At Coke, Gupta started off as director and went on to become VP, Indian operations. He has been with the company since the last four years.

Dish TV had 480,000 subscribers till September-end. But it is signing up around 3,500 customers a day and expects to touch one million subscribers by the end of this financial year. The average revenue per user (ARPU) is reportedly running at Rs 200 per month with services subsidised through the provision of a free annual subscription after a one-time charge of Rs 4,000.

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