DTH

Dish TV's Jawahar Goel on TRAI tariff order and DD Free Dish

Dish TV India group CEO Anil Dua spoke on OTT Watcho

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MUMBAI: The rollout of TRAI's new tariff order made its presence felt in the fourth quarter of the financial year 2019. While the Q4 revenues of leading DTH operator Dish TV were impacted due to transition to the new regulatory framework, CMD Jawahar Goel said he believes the regulator may undertake the exercise of price rationalization that could result in higher uptake of TV channels.

“The migration has given significant data insight to the TRAI and the price regime remains under consideration. We believe the TRAI may undertake the exercise of price rationalisation which should result in higher consumption of channels going forward,” Goel remarked after Dish TV published its Q4 result.

Goel also praised multi system operators (MSOs) for swift implementation of the TRAI tariff order. He said business practices like packaging, billing, dunning and prepaid offers have been well implemented by corporate MSOs. However, he added that small MSOs have some catching up to do.

At a time when Dish TV has been strategically targeting DD Free Dish subscribers with attractive recharge schemes and bundled acquisition offers, Goel expressed his satisfaction over the big four broadcasters’ decision to pull off their channels from Doordarshan's free to air (FTA) direct-to-home (DTH) platform. He said the decision has provided them with an opportunity to win back Dish TV’s customer base in markets that were consuming private channels on Free Dish. He added that he is optimistic about broadcasters putting up a pay-wall around linear channels being offered by them on alternative distribution platforms.

“FY20 started on a strong note with the general elections keeping viewers hooked on to their television. The soon to start Cricket World Cup should further engage the television viewing masses bringing revenue growth to the business,” Dish TV India group CEO Anil Dua stated.

"The year is also going to be the first full year seeing the positive impact of the now well in place tariff order. We strongly believe that the new regulatory regime will bring the much needed transparency in the industry thus helping distribution platforms like Dish TV command a premium for its nationwide reach,” he added.

During the last quarter, Dish TV also launched an OTT platform called Watcho. Dua said their OTT offering would come with a fair mix of original content, linear channels and catch-up content . However, he also mentioned they would restrain from acquiring popular content at exorbitant price points.

Dua spoke of user-generated content as a means to increase consumer stickiness. He added that content beyond user-generated would generally be low budget, short-format programming which would be procured on a revenue share basis. He also seemed optimistic about the overall performance of Dish TV as he thinks the new tariff order along with continuing synergies will help Dish TV increase its EBITDA per subscriber during the year.

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