Dish TV management on new tariff order, subscriber addition, content cost

Content cost for the first quarter was around Rs 610 crore


MUMBAI: The last quarter of financial year 2018-19 was not very smooth for any player in the cable and broadcast industry due to the implementation of the new tariff order (NTO). India’s largest direct-to-home (DTH) operator also saw few bumps on the way but the entire transition process has now settled down. Dish TV India group CEO Anil Dua noted the positive change and also highlighted that the NTO has created level playing field between cable operators and DTH players.

After last quarter, Dish TV pointed out that consumers were in a state of transition, trying to understand how to create their new packaging. While the company gave them a lot of options to select packages under new regime, those also led to a certain amount of time taken by the customer to settle down with new choices.

“Consumers are now watching the packs that they want to watch. It's a combination of à la carte channels that they have chosen, the DPO packs that we have provided and, of course, also the broadcaster bouquets, which are part of those packs. So, the customers are taking a combination of various things to their liking, to their choice, to their price point,” Dua said in an earnings call after Dish TV’s quarterly result.

The implementation of NTO was followed by speculations and several studies whether consumers are paying more than the pre-NTO era. Dua said there are Dish TV customers, a little less than half, who have gone for a price point lower than what it was earlier and a little more than half have gone for a price point which was higher than earlier. He also mentioned that with cricket and election season and other things during the quarter, consumers also added channels.

Dish TV India chief financial officer Rajeev Dalmia said the consumer level average revenue per user (ARPU) was around Rs 270-275 in the new regime. According to Dalmia, it varies on a month-on-month basis, because things are still not completely settled at the consumer’s end. He also added that the second half of this year would give an idea what is going to be the run rate as far as the consumer ARPU is concerned.

“If I remove the effects of cricket, we definitely see it (ARPU) going up. But because of cricket, customers come and go, and they add packages, they remove packages. So, the steady state figure will emerge. This is the first quarter with the new accounting, and first time we are talking of a figure like Rs 116. I think we will have to wait and watch. But fundamentally, the way we have planned things and the way we see things during the first quarter, the underlying growth in ARPU should be there,” Dua commented.

“As far as licence fee is concerned, now that will be on the basis of Rs 926 crore, rather than the earlier regime where it was including the content cost. So, it will go down to the extent of the content cost. To give you an example, like we paid say Rs 2,000 crore last year, so this year license fee will be less by Rs 200 crore,” Dalmia said.

There has been a delay by Dish TV in terms of making payments to broadcasters like ZEE and Star. Dalmia blamed certain issues in terms of how the billing would be done and how the incentive would be allocated to the company for the delay. He also added that all the outstanding dues would be cleared by the month of September giving a fresh start from 1 October as the things are more or less settled now.

EBITDA in the earlier regime was Rs 476 crore which is now Rs 536 crore. But the expenses were higher in the first quarter compared to the fourth quarter because of selling commission, service payout, and overall marketing costs as the number of subscribers added were quite high as compared to the fourth quarter.

“But if I go line-by-line, then we have saved on general administration expenses, we have saved on collection cost, and we have also saved on the personnel cost, because personnel cost used to be Rs 65 crore to Rs 70 crore per quarter, which has gone down to Rs 45 crore. And we further see some Rs 1 crore or Rs 2 crore going forward saving on account of personnel costs. So, overall line-by-line it has gone down. But of course, because the savings and service is linked to the number of new installations, that has gone up in the first quarter,” Dalmia added on expenses.

Content cost for the first quarter, which was a cricket-heavy one was around Rs 610 crore. On the other hand, the capex was Rs 205 crore for the quarter and for the full year  it will be in range of Rs 650 crore to Rs 675 crore. The company reset the guidance of net subscriber addition for the year which is to the tune of 8 lakh.

Latest Reads

DishTV strengthens presence in West Bengal with special offers and packages

In a bid to make the most of the festivities, Dish TV India Ltd, the world’s largest single-country DTH Company, today announced line-up of special offers and packages for its existing customers in West Bengal. The new offers by Dish TV seek to extend maximum benefits to the customers.

DTH DTH Services
Sun Direct offers 155 channels for Rs 130 network capacity fee

DTH operator Sun Direct is now allowing subscribers to select up to 155 channels for a monthly network capacity fee of Rs 130/- plus applicable taxes.

DTH DTH Operator
DTH companies against changes to KYC norms for STBs

DTH operators believe that there is no need to change the KYC process for set top boxes (STBs) as the current process is well-equipped to meet the requirements and the DTH industry is already adhering to a comprehensive KYC process, which has been working effectively till date.

DTH DTH Operator
KYC imperative to curb smuggling of DTH STBs outside India: IBF

Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) has shared its view on the consultation paper by TRAI on ‘KYC of DTH Set Top Boxes’. The association is of view that there is an absolute and an imminent need for introduction and proper enforcement of meaningful KYC or e-KYC stipulations of DTH STBs.

DTH DTH Operator
Tata Sky introduces HD set top box and Binge bundle offer at Rs 4,999

MUMBAI: After the formal announcement of Reliance Jio Fiber plans, other DTH operators are also taking measures to face the upcoming challenge. DTH operator Tata Sky has introduced an attractive offer for consumers.

DTH DTH Operator
Rule the world of entertainment with ‘d2h Magic’ streaming device

MUMBAI: Dish TV India Limited, the world’s largest single-country DTH Company, has launched a one of its kind content streaming solution ‘d2h Magic’ allowing customers to access digital video streaming and OTT apps on their existing d2h set top box. ‘d2h Magic’ will seamlessly bridge the gap...

DTH DTH Operator
Independent TV to resume DTH service any day after 21 August

MUMBAI: DTH operator Independent TV has extended the resumption of its service further. The operator has stated on its website that they expect to go live any day after August 21, next week. The network was supposed to resume its service from August 15 in its new ITV 2.0 avatar .

DTH DTH Operator
The Entertainment Industry Celebrates Tata Sky's 13th Birthday with Chimp&z Inc's #TataSkyTeraHai

Mumbai: Last week, Tata Sky celebrated its 13th anniversary. A brand that stands for entertainment across genres was celebrated all over the internet with tributes pouring in from the peers in the entertainment industry.

DTH DTH Services
Dish TV brings unique value added service for Telugu viewers, launches 'Telugu Active' on DishTV & d2h platforms

Continuing to strengthen its value added service offerings, Dish TV India Limited, world’s largest single-country DTH Company has launched ‘Telugu Active’ VAS service - a one stop ad-free destination for the best of Telugu films & shows. The Telugu Active service is launched in partnership with...

DTH DTH Services

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories