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Airtel Digital TV mops up one million subscribers Team

(1 August 2009 9:55 pm)


MUMBAI: Airtel Digital TV, the fifth and latest entrant in India's highly competitive direct-to-home (DTH) sector, has joined the one million subscriber club.

After a slow start, the DTH operator has seen a strong growth in subscribers for four consecutive months as it added channels, marketed aggressively and improved dealer margins.


As per information gathered by, Airtel Digital TV has mopped up 620,000 subscribers in the April-July period.

Launched in October last year in a cluttered but rapidly growing DTH market, Airtel Digital TV launched promotional activities ahead of the IPL and T20 World Cup and announced annual packages in June offering discounted rates to keep its subscribers locked long term.

"We strengthened our distribution network and now have penetrated to over 5000 towns. We also increased the dealer margins to Rs 700 on specific cases. This is higher than the industry average of Rs 350-400," a company source says.

Airtel Digital TV also tied up with Samsung on their colour and LCD television sets for a scheme which runs from 25 June to 31 August.


Digital TV has put up a stronger performance in the eastern region and some states in the northern and western belt. "We have a strong presence in the eastern states and a good penetration in the Western and Northern states such as Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Delhi, Punjab and Haryana," the executive says.

The southern region, however, has stayed weak and needs to be addressed. Says the source, "Sun Direct has a strong presence here. But we are beefing up our distribution and have recently added some southern-language channels to our bouquet."

Digital TV recently announced addition of 14 channels including five southern channels. The list consists of Asianet News, Indiavision, Amrita TV, Kasturi and Siripolli.

"Interestingly, all the DTH operators have crossed the one million mark. Dish TV leads with 5.51 million subscribers. Digital TV is at the bottom but is pacing up," says an industry observer who closely tracks the DTH sector.

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