DTH
Report on Shemaroo

DTH operators go big on hybrid boxes this festive season

Leading players have stepped up to promote their hybrid set top boxes amid challenge from OTTs.

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/tv-images/2020/10/28/2.jpg?itok=w6xP4gSr

KOLKATA: Leading direct-to-home (DTH) operators are endorsing their hybrid set-top boxes during the festive season. While it’s nothing new for them to piggyback on festivals to attract new subscribers, but this time rather than promoting discounted packages or value-added services, the operators are trying to bring in new perspectives about their products in users’ mind.

Take Airtel India for instance. In its Ab Jo Dekho Bada Dekho campaign, the DTH service provider is running a TVC to promote its Xstream box. The video captures two young consumers discussing “entertainment ke bade duniya” (the larger world of entertainment). The core message of the video is that it is now easy to switch back and forth easily between linear TV and online premium content using Airtel’s new box. 

The Sunil Mittal-led company launched its converged platform last year. With a robust wired broadband base, the company has been upbeat about its bundled offering.

“Homes business segment witnessed revenue growth of 7.3 per cent YoY. We added over 129,000 customers during the quarter to reach a total base of 2.58 million. We re-calibrated our offering and launched Xstream bundles with content and unlimited internet to accelerate penetration. The company signed on many more LCO partnerships in non-wired cities, extending the model to 48 cities,” Airtel stated in its Q2 earnings release.

The market leader in the DTH segment, Tata Sky, has also launched a TV campaign for Tata Sky Binge+. The latest ad highlights how the box meets different consumer needs across age groups. Moreover, it has also taken the influencer marketing route on its social media platforms featuring stars like Sayani Gupta and Rasika Dugal.

However, the cost could be a barrier for these boxes in winning over the masses. In this regard, Tata Sky recently fine-tuned the pricing of its smart set top box Tata Sky Binge+, making it available at a competitive price of Rs 2,999 for new subscribers and Rs 2,499 for existing subscribers opting for an upgrade or a secondary multi-TV connection. On the other hand, Airtel Xstream Basic is available at Rs 2499.

At the beginning of the Covid2019 crisis, the overall pay-TV ecosystem lost subscribers – be they cable operators or DTH players. Even in the first quarter of 2020, DTH subscribers grew marginally by 2.8 lakh. While on one hand, the leading players claimed that their new connection addition rate is back to pre-Covid period, the traditional players have to offer various propositions for consumer retention, especially given the massive OTT uptake during the last six months. Tata Sky, Airtel launching new campaigns for hybrid set top boxes could be a bid to retain their existing customer base in the face of the OTT challenge and also bolster their new subscriber count.

“Hybrid boxes are the future for these players. Youth is moving to digital very fast. In terms of payment mechanism also, it is more expensive for a consumer to pay separately on TV, then for data and OTT platforms; effectively it turns out to be an expense of almost Rs 20,000 per year. The advantage of hybrid boxes is they give all at a very affordable price and conveniently. If you have a mechanism for bundling all those together, it’s a win-win for consumers, DTH players, and OTT platforms and beneficial for the entire ecosystem,” said Elara Capital VP – research analyst (Media) Karan Taurani.

Although it is just the beginning for this segment, with several existing challenges, Taurani also added that there will be a high rate of conversion in future from pure play TV to these boxes. Moreover, the additional trigger will be smart TV growth, which is also going up significantly in recent times.

Currently, the DTH industry has an active subscriber base of 72.44 million paying customers as of 31 March. Tata Sky, with a market share of 32.33 per cent, was leading the segment while Airtel Digital TV had 23.65 per cent of the pie.

(Indiantelevision.com reached out to them for more clarity but they declined to respond.)

Latest Reads

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/03/01/dd.jpg?itok=fyF9rmZ6
Prasar Bharati earns Rs 731.34 crore at DD Free Dish annual e-auction

KOLKATA: Public broadcaster Prasar Bharati has seen a significant jump in the overall sales of MPEG-2 slots at the 52nd e-auction of DD Free Dish. It has raked in Rs 731.34 crore from the sale of 57 MPEG-2 slots, compared to Rs 594.25 crore collected from the sales of 53 slots in March 2020. The...

DTH DTH Operator
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/02/27/img_27022021_154224_800_x_800_pixel.jpg?itok=EJFhvLt6
Prasar Bharati raises reserve price of MPEG-4 slots to Rs 50 lakh

KOLKATA: Prasar Bharati has amended the policy guidelines for DD Free Dish slots. According to new guidelines, the reserve price for MPEG-4 slots have been fixed at Rs 50 lakh per annum. Earlier, the reserve price was Rs 5 lakh per annum. The amended rules termed “Policy guidelines for allotment of...

DTH DTH Operator
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/02/27/airtel.jpg?itok=gAsLlSiD
Airtel Digital to buy 10% stake in Tata Group-led Ferbine

Bharti Airtel's wholly-owned subsidiary Airtel Digital is all set to buy 10 per cent in Tata Group’s Ferbine Pvt Ltd for Rs 50,000 cash. With this, the telecom major has joined the race to own a stake in the pan-India umbrella entity (PUE) which has been formed to rival the National Payments...

DTH DTH Operator
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/02/26/tata-sky.jpg?itok=Fr97oyXo
Tata Sky's new brand purpose: 'To make tomorrow better than today'

DTH operator Tata Sky has unveiled its new brand purpose with the statement - ‘Tata Sky exists to make tomorrow better than today for family and home.’ As the industry leader, Tata Sky is now present in over 22 million households across the country.

DTH DTH Operator
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/02/26/dtv.jpg?itok=K-5gCwRD
Carving out DTH biz DirecTV, the AT&T-TPG way

Here’s another look at how things are playing out in the DTH space in the US. AT&T, which acquired leading DTH firm DirecTV in 2014 in a much celebrated $48.5 billion deal, has announced it had reached an agreement with TPG Capital, the private equity platform of global alternative asset firm...

DTH DTH Operator
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/02/24/dish.jpg?itok=1x0iqK4O
One way forward for DTH, the Dish Network model?

Many a TV  observer has predicted that direct to home television space will one day become extinct. While one can dismiss this as an exaggeration, the way Colorado-based Dish Network is evolving is probably what may come to pass with major DTH players.

DTH DTH Operator
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/02/18/dishtv.jpg?itok=KBC_VtLv
Dish TV approves plan to raise up to Rs 1,000 crore

KOLKATA: Dish TV India has approved a plan to raise funds for an amount upto Rs 1,000 crore at a board meeting on Wednesday. "Keeping in mind the requirement for funds in the company, the board, at its meeting held today, ie, 17 February 2021 considered various options for fundraising and granted...

DTH DTH Operator
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/02/17/airtel.jpg?itok=rX3nH9zj
Airtel to acquire 20 per cent stake in Bharti Telemedia from Warburg Pincus

Leading telecom operator Bharti Airtel is on course to acquire a 20 per cent stake in its direct-to-home television arm Bharti Telemedia from US private equity firm Warburg Pincus for Rs 31,260 million.

DTH DTH Operator
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/02/13/airtel.jpg?itok=Sa3ZimmV
Aakash partners with Airtel DTH for student counselling sessions

Aakash Educational Services Ltd (AESL) in partnership with Airtel DTH has launched Aakash Paathshala – a counselling series exclusively for Airtel DTH subscribers. The first episode will be aired on Airtel DTH on 14 February 2021. 

DTH DTH Operator

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories

* indicates required