DTH expands even as pay TV market saturates

DTH subscriber share of pay TV has grown to 47 per cent in 2021.


Mumbai: Pay TV subscription revenue is expected to reach $7.6 billion by 2026 over $6.4 billion in 2021, stated Media Partners Asia in its latest report on India’s online video market, which also highlights the increasing market share of Direct-to-home (DTH) even as cable TV remains in structural decline.

There are 127 million pay TV subscribers in India and DTH has been winning share from cable TV since 2019. While DTH grew its subscriber share from 42 per cent in 2019 to 47 per cent in 2021, the share of cable TV declined from 56 per cent to 52 per cent in the same period.

According to the report, there will be one billion video screens in India by the end of 2024. There will be 47 million FTA households and 121 million pay TV homes. As many as 13 million homes will have hybrid set-top-boxes, 744 million users will have 4G connections and 155 million users will have 5G connections. In the long run pay TV homes will decline while FTA homes will continue to grow, the report indicated.

By 2026, two-third of Indians will have access to high-speed mobile broadband reaching 899 million subscribers, out of which 34 million homes will be serviced by fibre, and three million homes will have wireline (digital subscriber line) connections. The report estimates that ~90 per cent of fixed broadband homes will be serviced through fibre.

In terms of revenues, the video market scale will grow to reach $18 billion in 2026 over $11.6 billion in 2021. Pay TV subscription revenues may reach 7.6 billion, pay TV advertising revenues at $6.1 billion, OTT advertising-video-on-demand (AVOD) to reach $2.8 billion and OTT subscription-video-on-demand to reach $1.8 billion.

D2C SVOD subscribers to reach 193 million by 2026

Despite content supply bottlenecks, India’s OTT SVOD subscriptions continue to grow at a robust rate. This year OTT subscribers are expected to grow by 1.6 times over the previous year to reach 88.7 million. Most of these subscribers are expected to come through Disney+ Hotstar in Q4. As per the MPA’s estimate, Disney+ Hotstar subscribers is likely to reach 46 million, Prime Video to reach 21.8 million and Netflix to reach 5.5 million at the end of the year. These platforms will continue to account for 83 per cent of total direct-to-consumer subscribers in India.

The OTT industry is also expected to invest $1 billion in content in 2021, according to the report. Their share of acquired and local content is 30 per cent and is expected to grow to 40-45 per cent in the near future. New D2C SVOD entrants are going to enter the market by 2022 including services from HBO and Comcast.

The content strategy of the leading OTT players is diverse and has led to subscriber growth. For Disney+ Hotstar, the combination of sports and local originals has been increasing subscriber growth. It hiked its base plan by 25 per cent “which is justified given the value of its upcoming slate of premium sport and local original content”, said the company.

Disney+ Hotstar, which is currently at the lower end of ARPUs (<$2), will see its pricing power improve after 2022, according to the report. Prime Video has benefitted from its regional content push and Netflix has invested heavily in original content with 41 original releases in 2021.  

In 2022, the Indian Premier League (IPL) media rights will be up for grabs once again with TV and digital rights being sold separately. The report estimates that top bidders will include Disney, Amazon, Facebook, Jio and Sony.

Latest Reads

‘Demand-driven’ communication satellite GSAT-24 launched; capacity leased to Tata Play

Mumbai: NewSpace India (NSIL) on Thursday successfully launched GSAT-24 in its first “demand-driven” communication satellite mission post space sector reforms, leasing the entire capacity on board to direct-to-home (DTH) service Tata Play, as per a news agency report. The 24 Ku-band communication...

DTH DTH Operator
Tata Play announces entry into home security solutions

Mumbai: Tata Play on Thursday announced its entry into home security solutions with the launch of two products Tata Play Secure and Tata Play Secure+. Tata Play is collaborating with Google to bring to India the Google Nest security camera for its subscribers via Tata Play Secure+. Tata Play Secure...

DTH DTH Services
Dish TV India reports operating revenue of Rs 2802.5 crore for FY22

Dish TV India has reported its results for the fourth quarter and the financial year ended on 31 March 2022. The company reported operating revenue of Rs 2802.5 crore for the financial year and Rs 642.7 crore for the fourth quarter.

DTH DTH Services
HITS launches on Airtel Digital TV

Airtel Digital TV is ready to enthrall its subscribers yet again with the launch of its new service - Airtel HITS HD.

DTH DTH Operator
DTH players seek removal of eight per cent licence fee to stay competitive

Direct-to-home (DTH) players have approached the government to waive the eight per cent license fee imposed on them that is in line with a similar proposal for broadband services so that they remain competitive in the market.

DTH DTH Operator
DTH sector lost 0.37 mn subs in the quarter ended 31 Dec’21: Trai

Mumbai: The total active subscriber base of the pay direct-to-home (DTH) sector declined from 68.89 million at the end of September 2021 to 68.52 million at the end of December 2021, as per data provided by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai). This is in addition to the subscribers of...

DTH DTH Operator
MIB to distribute 1.5 lakh Free Dish in remote areas of J&K

The government will distribute 1.5 lakh free dish in far-flung areas of Jammu and Kashmir, the ministry of information and broadcasting secretary Apurva Chandra said on Tuesday during a visit to Kangan Sub Division of J&K to assess the outreach of DD Free Dish in the area.

DTH DTH Services
DD Free Dish announces new channel numbers effective 1 April

Mumbai: Prasar Bharati’s free direct-to-home (DTH) platform DD Free Dish has announced the new channel numbers for 167 TV channels and 48 radio channels that will come into effect from 1 April. The TV channels comprise 91 Doordarshan channels including 51 cobranded educational channels and 76...

DTH DTH Operator
Dish TV India reappoints Jawahar Goel as MD

Mumbai: Dish TV India has reappointed Jawahar Lal Goel as its managing director (MD) till 25 March 2025, the company said in a regulatory filing late Friday night. The DTH service company also reappointed Anil Kumar Dua as the whole-time director for the same period as Goel. Goel who is also the...

DTH DTH Operator