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Dish TV waives off 30-day lock-in period for pay channels, channel bouquets

Dish TV is the largest DTH player in the country

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MUMBIA: India’s biggest direct-to-home operator Dish TV has waived off the 30-day lock-in period for pay channels and select channel bouquets it had levied earlier.

This lock-in period, which was earlier introduced by the DTH operator, prevented consumers from unsubscribing to a channel they had opted for until the duration of the lock-in period.

Consumers can now drop and opt for channels without these restrictions.

According to some subscribers, however, there is no change made to the seven-day lock-in period for sports channels.

Dish TV is by far the largest DTH player in the country and probably the second largest globally. As on 31 December 2018, Dish TV claimed a net active subscriber base of 236 lakh (23.6 million, 2.36 crore).

Two major DTH players - Airtel Direct TV (Airtel DTH) and the merged Dish TV Videocon d2h entity (Dish TV) have about 55 percent of the market share of private DTH subscribers in the country. During CY 2018, these two players added 17.06 lakh (1.706 million, 0.1706 crore) subscribers, or 58.2 percent of the net subscribers that were added by all the 5 private DTH players in the country. Airtel DTH added 10.63 lakh (1.063 million, 0.1063 crore) net subscribers, while Dish TV added 6.43 lakh (0.643 million, 0.0643 crore) during the period under review.

Earlier in the week a report by CNBC-TV18 claimed that Singapore Telecommunications Ltd (Singtel) and Bharti Airtel are jointly looking to buy a stake in Dish TV in a bid to compete with Reliance Jio.

The duo is looking to acquire the promoter’s 60 per cent stake in Dish TV for around Rs 6150 crore. As part of Bharti Airtel’s plan to raise $4.6 billion, Singtel is likely to buy stock in it worth $525 million through shares and bonds.

GIC, the parent company of Singtel via Temasek Holdings, also owns about 20 per cent in Tata Sky and could hint at a future possibility of further consolidation in the DTH sector.

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