Cable TV

WWIL acquires 51 per cent in Delhi MSO for CAS

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MUMBAI: Wire & Wireless India Ltd (WWIL) is expanding its footprint in Delhi. The demerged cable company of Zee Group has acquired a 51 per cent stake in Satellite Channels, a multi-system operator (MSO) who was operating in the Cas (conditional access system) notified area of Delhi, for an undisclosed amount.

WWIL has also signed up with Spectranet and Sanjay Cable Network. All these MSOs were disqualified for Cas as they were found not ready by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) for making the switchover to addressable system by 31 December.

"We have bought 51 per cent in Satellite Channels and have signed up with Spectranet and Sanjay Cable Network," WWIL CEO Jagjit Kohli tells Indiantelevision.com.

Earlier, WWIL had acquired control over 5 Star which operates in Andheri, a western suburb of Mumbai. Kohli claims to have added 250,000 subscribers in recent months through aggressive acquisitions. WWIL is offering to cable operators a valuation of Rs 2,000-3,000 per subscriber where it will hold 51 per cent stake.

"However, our focus now is to roll out the digital boxes. We will be soon introducing various packages," Kohli says.

WWIL will introduce a combo package where consumers who buy STBs on outright purchase and take annual subscription will be offered an attractive subsidy, Kohli says. This scheme will make available 100 TV channels. "We will be offering under this at least 20 pay channels. We will be subsiding the boxes," he adds, while declining to spell out the pricing structure of the package.

WWIL's initial fund requirement is Rs 5 billion and the company plans to invest Rs 7.14 billion over two years. "We have already lined up a debt of Rs 2.15 billion," Kohli says.

WWIL is likely to list by mid-January or early February, he adds.

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