Videocon d2h’s Saurabh Dhoot: HD, big driver of ARPUs

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By Team Posted on : 23 Apr 2014 01:21 pm

BALI: He is young, but the young Dhoot scion’s debut on the Asian stage at the Asia Pacific Operators Summit (APOS) in Bali was pretty impressive by most yardsticks. Dhoot dismissed any suggestions about DTH operators getting together to bring down content costs. “We at Videocon d2h have very good relations with broadcasters. We don’t have a single court case against any of them; we don’t have any contentious disagreements over packages. And we don’t want to get into any complex arrangements,” he said.

He revealed that the newest DTH player has about 11 million gross subs out of which about seven million plus are active.  “It’s all about how everything is being executed,” he said. “And we are doing it right. The top two or three players have almost 70-80 per cent of active subs. India is a land of opportunities; there is space for everyone even for a FreeDish.”

The next phase for the DTH players is going to be about HD, he emphasised.  “We embraced HD from day one.  HD is a game changer in our plan. HD sub base will treble—that will make a great difference to ARPUs.”

Additionally, he said that packaging of products such as kid’s packs will make a difference. “We need to work with our broadcast partners to work out new packages,” he highlighted.

He revealed that the company was generating cash from operations, excluding finance costs, depreciation and amortization.

One of the big impediments to growth of the DTH business is regulatory is Saurabh Dhoot’s view. “The 30 per cent entertainment tax in some states almost equals to the tax on alcohol and cigarettes. We as an industry need to come together to raise our voice. It is archaic and needs to be changed,” he concluded.

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