DTH

Dish TV India focused on repayment of debt in Q2 FY22

The company’s revenues declined quarter-on-quarter.

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Mumbai: Dish TV India has reported its second quarter results for FY 2022. The company reported consolidated subscription revenues of Rs 6445 million and operating revenues of Rs 7181 million. It reported subscription revenues of Rs 6659 million and operating revenues Rs 7310 million in the previous quarter.

The company has tapered down its debt to Rs 5566 million while adding more than 0.6 million subscribers at the gross level. At a net level though, it recorded negative additions prioritising repayment of debt over adding fresh subscribers. Dish TV India repaid debt of Rs 697 million during the quarter to arrive at a closing debt of Rs 5566 million.

“It was business as usual at India’s leading DTH Company despite some chaotic developments on the corporate front towards the end of the quarter," the company noted. It is referring to its boardroom battle with shareholder Yes Bank on the issue of reconstitution of the board.

Retention and upgradation focused campaigns continued in line with the objective of increasing the lifetime value of subscribers. Furthermore, to increase stickiness, ‘Watcho’- the in-house OTT app of the company was loaded with freshly curated content. The platform debuted several new web series to further enhance the complimentary bouquet of offerings for Dish TV India subscribers. ‘Watcho’ continued to gain strength as an OTT platform with a strong semi-urban presence in addition to significant tier-1 visibility. The app has recorded total cumulative downloads of 36 million so far.

“We continue to remain focused in our efforts to drive business performance using tools that enhance the viewing experience of subscribers on both, the traditional as well as the OTT offering,” said Dish TV India group chief executive officer Anil Dua. “We remain sensitive to changing consumer needs and look forward to new launches and a wider audience base.”

During the quarter, Dish TV announced the launch of its ‘QR Scan Feature.’ The scan to pay feature aims at giving customers a hassle-free single click payment experience when it comes to recharging their Dish TV account or paying utility bills. Dish TV and d2h subscribers will now be able to pay their bills in a few simple steps by scanning the QR code on the company’s websites, www.dishtv.in and www.d2h.com using any UPI app or wallet. UPI is currently the easiest and the most secure way of digital payments owing to its multifactor authentication which requires the users to verify themselves via multiple sources.

The onset of the festival period towards the end of the second quarter along with some normalization in consumer spending post the second wave of the pandemic encouraged the launch of customised new offerings for existing as well as new subscribers. Dish TV India launched a special ‘Get 1 for 5 Recharge Offer’ as per which a complimentary month of subscription was provided for every five months of recharge. In addition, a ‘Lucky Recharge Offer’ wherein customers could avail up to 100 per cent cashback on recharge of Rs 501 was also launched.

“Household spending however did not fully recover during the quarter and despite a fairly extensive sports calendar, recharges were not in line with earlier years. Both, streaming platforms as well as Free Dish, continued to give competition to conventional distributors with some of the DTH subscribers at the upper end exploring OTT services while those at the lower end sampling Free Dish services,” said the company.

Operating revenues for the quarter were Rs 7181 million. EBITDA was Rs 4270 million. EBITDA margin was at 59.4 per cent. Profit before tax for the quarter was Rs 553 million. Net profit for the quarter was Rs 354 million.

“Consumers typically tend to step up spending during festivals and the festive season traditionally accounts for majority of the annual revenues of the company. Upbeat consumer spending is expected during the festival quarter this year compared to the same quarter last year,” said the company in a statement.

NTO 2.0

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) recently extended the deadline for enforcing the new tariff order (NTO) 2.0 by announcing an execution plan for migrating subscribers to the new regime. Trai directed distribution platforms to ensure that subscribers avail of pay-tv services as per NTO 2.0 norms with effect from 1 April 2022, moving the earlier 1 December 2021 deadline. While distribution platforms like DTH and cable will have to seek subscriber choice till 31 March, broadcasters will have to submit the required information to Trai by 31 December.

Several broadcasters had earlier challenged the NTO 2.0 in various high courts. However, in an order passed on 30 June, the Bombay high court had upheld the validity of NTO 2.0, except the second proviso to the twin conditions which stated that the a-la-carte rates of each pay channel (MRP) forming part of a bouquet shall in no case exceed three times the average rate of a pay channel of the bouquet of which such pay channel is a part.

Broadcasters had then approached the Supreme Court challenging the Bombay high court order. The Supreme Court is yet to announce its decision.

“We would be watching the developments on the litigation front for now while simultaneously acting towards implementation of the order,” said Dish TV India chairman and managing director Jawahar Goel.

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