DTH

Dish TV adds 8.1 lakh subscribers in FY-2014; ARPU up from Rs 158 to Rs 170

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BENGALURU:  Dish TV Limited (Dish TV) in its earnings release for FY-2014 says that it has added about 8.1 lakh net subscribers in FY-2014 and 2.26 lakh subscribers in Q4-2014 to take its total subscriber base to 1.14 crore net subscribers during the period.

The company also claims that it has increased ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) from Rs 158 during the previous year to Rs 170 in FY-2014. It says that it has managed to contain the subscriber churn to 0.6 per cent per month.

Note: (1) 100,00,000=100 lakh = 1 crore = 10 million.

(2) Standalone figures in this report 

FY-2014 standalone revenues stood at Rs 2508.98 crore recording 15.79 per cent growth over the Rs 2166.80 crore in FY-2014. Dish TV reported standalone operating revenue of Rs 636.91 crore, recording 14.68 per cent growth over the Rs 555.40 crore in corresponding period last fiscal and 2.10 per cent more than the Rs 623.81 crore in immediate trailing quarter.

Dish TV’s net loss for FY-2014, impacted by a prior period adjustment of Rs 116.4 crore, was Rs (-154.2) crore as compared to a loss of Rs (-66.75) crore in FY-2013. Net loss for Q4-2014, impacted by the above mentioned prior period adjustment of Rs 116.4 crore, increased to Rs (-149.05) crore compared to Rs (- 43.62) crore in Q4-2013 and a loss of Rs (-28.36) crore in Q3-2014, says the company.

Let us look at the other numbers reported by Dish TV for FY-2014 and Q4-2014

Dish TV’s Total Expense (Tot Exp) in FY-2014 at Rs 2482.30 crore (98.94 per cent of Total standalone revenue) was 12.07 per cent more than the Rs 2214.96 crore (102.22 per cent of Total standalone revenue) in FY-2013. Q4-2014 Tot Exp at Rs 657.05 crore (103.16 per cent of Total standalone revenue) was 4 per cent more than the Rs 631.78 crore (101.28 per cent of Total standalone operating income) in Q3-2014 and 13.21 per cent more than the Rs 580.36 crore (104.49 per cent of Total standalone operating income) in Q4-2013.

The company’s finance cost increased 3.37 per cent in FY-2014 to Rs 132.68 crore (5.29 per cent of Total standalone operating income) from Rs 128.36 crore (5.92 per cent of Total standalone operating income) in FY-2013. Dish TV’s Q4-2014 finance cost at Rs 32.63 crore (5.12 per cent of Total standalone operating income) was 8.41 per cent more than the Rs 30.10 crore (4.83 per cent of Total standalone operating income) in Q3-2014 and (-5.01) per cent lower than the Rs 35.85 crore (6.18 per cent of Total standalone operating income) in Q4-2013.

Dish TV’s Programming/content and other cost (Content cost) in FY-2014 at Rs 261.38 crore (10.42 per cent of Total standalone operating income) was 15.81 per cent higher than the Rs 225.70 crore (10.42 per cent of Total standalone operating income). Q4-2014 content cost was 2.29 per cent more at Rs 66.98 crore (10.52 per cent of Total standalone operating income) as compared to the Rs 65.48 crore (10.5 per cent of Total standalone operating income) in the immediate trailing quarter and 15.3 per cent more than the Rs 58.09 crore (10.46 per cent of Total standalone operating income) in the year ago quarter Q4-2013.

The company paid Rs 288.48 crore (11.5 per cent of Total standalone operating income) as licence fees in FY-2014 which was 25.49 per cent more than the Rs 229.89 crore (10.61 per cent of Total standalone operating income) in FY-2013. Dish TV paid Rs 82.38 crore (12.93 per cent of Total standalone operating income) towards licence fees in Q4-2014 which was 10.96 per cent more than the Rs 74.24 crore (11.90 per cent of Total standalone operating income) in Q3-2014 and 34.34 per cent higher than the Rs 61.32 crore (11.04 per cent of Total standalone operating income) in Q4-2013.

Dish TV’s selling and distribution expense is made up of two parts – ‘commission’ and ‘other selling and distribution expense’ (distribution exp).

Commission expense in FY-2014 at Rs 183.67 crore (7.32 per cent of Total standalone operating income) was 17.84 per cent more than the Rs 155.87 crore (7.19 per cent of Total standalone operating income) in FY-2013. Q4-2014 commission expense at Rs 50.65 crores (7.95 per cent of Total standalone operating income) was 0.56 per cent more than the Rs 50.37 crore (8.07 per cent of Total standalone operating income) in Q3-2014 and 31.94 per cent more than the Rs 38.39 crore (6.91 per cent of Total standalone operating income) in Q4-2013.

Distribution Exp in FY-2014 at Rs148.42 crore (5.92 per cent of Total standalone operating income) was 0.44 per cent more than the Rs 147.77 crore (6.82 per cent of Total standalone operating income) in FY-2013. In Q4-2014, Dish TV paid (-5.85) per cent lower towards distribution exp at Rs 32.66 crore (5.13 per cent of Total standalone operating income) as compared to the Rs 34.69 crore (5.56 per cent of Total standalone operating income) in Q3-2014 and (-8.9) per cent lower than the Rs 35.85 crore (6.45 per cent of Total standalone operating income) in Q4-2013.

Dish TV’s take

Dish TV chairman Subhash Chandra said, “The Media industry had its share of opportunities and challenges all through the year. Digitisation kept the industry on its toes. In an uncertain macro environment, Dish TV pursued its strategy of self-funded growth; deleveraging the business while being selective about its subscriber additions notwithstanding the noise around digitisation. The result, a healthier Balance Sheet coupled with the largest subscriber base in the industry and a free cash positive business which is much better equipped to capitalize on the opportunities ahead.”

Dish TV managing director Jawahar Goel added, “Unlike fiscal 2013, fiscal 2014 was a disruptive period where we had to choose between immediate benefits and long term sustainability in the hyper competitive DTH industry. Choosing the later, we continued to deleverage while maintaining our subscriber acquisition price point. With a much manageable and scalable debt profile now, we have started 2014 with a significant positive overhaul to our macro parameters.”

“With a new government at the Centre, the DTH industry is optimistic about rationalisation in the tax regime. As notification of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) is taking time, we look forward to allowance of abatement in Service Tax along with moderation in Entertainment Tax in line with the prevailing structure in Gujarat and other forward looking states. We are also hopeful of an early resolution of the DTH license renewal and payment of license fees matter in the industry’s favour. We also expect a firm push to digitisation and are confident that encryption, packaging, billing and other critical requirements will be implemented at the last mile,” he added.

“Dish TV’s fourth quarter subscriber adds are a result of some serious strategic initiatives taken earlier. The ‘Zing’ sub-brand launched as part of a differentiated strategy to cater to the Phase III & IV markets got a tremendous response and even bolstered the flagship brand’s sales. We exited the fourth quarter bagging the highest incremental market share while keeping a check on our churn, which remained at 0.6 per cent per month. Making further headway on our Sri Lanka Project, we launched test signals as per plan,” said Goel.

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