Mumbai leads STB penetration, SEC A early adopters: Tam

MUMBAI: Of the three metros, Mumbai leads in Cas (conditional access system) adoption with a 25 per cent penetration in set-top boxes (STBs), according to a study by Tam.

While Mumbai has 139000 subscribers buying STBs on a Cas home of 548000, Delhi has a 14 per cent penetration with 97000 out of 676000 homes opting for boxes.

Kolkata is a clear laggard with a 10 per cent penetration, indicating significant differences in offtake across the three metros. Out of 409000 homes, 41000 subscribers have gone ahead and bought boxes.

"Of the 1.63 million homes covered by the Cas footprint, 277000 homes had taken up a STB/DTH connection to access pay channels. Pay TV homes amounted to 17 per cent of the Cas-mandated area," the study said.

In the first week of January, Tam commissioned AC Nielsen to conduct a ‘Pay TV Homes’ estimation study in the Cas-mandated zones of Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata. The fieldwork periods were 12-16 January in Mumbai, 11-15 January in Delhi and 11-16 January in Kolkata. The fieldwork mid-point was 14 January, Tam said.

Tam further divided the zones into 100 sampling nodes, ensuring "adequate geographical coverage." It conducted face-to-face interviews using a structured questionnaire. The interviewee was the decision maker pertaining to cable subscription. The sample size was 2250 respondents (750 per city).

According to the study, an additional 198000 homes claimed to have subscribed but are awaiting installation of ‘pay TV services.’The ‘under served’ segments included 109000 (20 per cent awaiting installations) in Mumbai, 43000 (6 per cent) in Delhi and 46000 (11 per cent) in Kolkata.

"Cumulatively, 475000 homes had subscribed comprising 29 per cent of the Cas-mandated homes," the study said.

There are 7.96 million cable homes across the three metros with 1.63 million (approximately 21 per cent) falling under the Cas-mandated zones. Mumbai has 3.25 million cable homes while in Delhi it is 2.61 million and in Kolkata 2.1 million.

The highest offtake for the boxes is in the SEC A strata of Mumbai. Interestingly, the response by Mumbai's SEC C is nearly on par with those from SEC A residing in Delhi and Kolkata There is zero demand from SEC D/E in Kolkata. "The offtake levels vary significantly across markets even at a SEC level. The highest offtake is observed in the higher SEC and it declines as one comes down the SEC ladder. Owing to the pre-dominant non-responsive lower SEC, the offtakes seem to have got dampened significantly," the study pointed out.

Despite low offtake in Kolkata, consumer awareness appeared to be higher than in Delhi and Mumbai. Consumers residing in Delhi appeared to be the least aware.

While consumer awareness has significant ground to cover, price remained the pre-dominant reason for subscribers preferring to decide in favour of free-to-air (FTA) channels.


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