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India’s largest Direct to Home television services operator, Dish TV‘s subscriber growth rate seems to have plateaued: It added 0.2 million net subscribers for the quarter ending June 30, 2013 (Q1-FY14). It had registered similar 0.2 million subscribers in the previous quarter, which was the company’s lowest subscriber addition in the past 23 quarters then.

Interestingly though, the company hasn’t disclosed its net subscribers for the quarter. It had reported 10.7 million net subscribers in the previous quarter, which translates to 10.9 million net subscribers for the current quarter.

Highlights

– Subscriber Acquisition Cost (SAC) was at Rs 1,828, down from Rs 1,996 in the previous quarter.

– Average Revenue Per User: The annual average revenue per user (ARPU) for DishTV increased sequentially at Rs 165, up 5.1% from Rs 157 in the previous quarter. The company attributed this increase to pack price hikes and improved subscriber quality.

– Subscription revenues for the quarter was at Rs 528 crore, up 5.6% sequentially and 15.9% year-on-year (YoY).

– The company didn’t disclose the average churn but mentioned that churn went down for the quarter. Dish TV had reported an average churn of 0.8% per month in the previous quarter.

– Earlier this month, Dish TV hiked the set top box prices of its standard definition (SD) set-top box and Dish+ recorder set top box by Rs 250, following which other players also followed suit. The prices of its high definition (HD) set top boxes remained unchanged. The company attributed this hike to the persistent weakening of the rupee.

In addition to this, the company is also considering various other options with its foreign suppliers to start the set top box production at a base in India.

Discussing the results, Jawahar Goel, Managing Director, Dish TV told that digitization still has a lot to achieve even in the digitized towns and cities and pointed out that the distribution industry needs to act fast to make use of the opportunity to remove long pending inefficiencies in the system. He also mentioned that too much focus on box seeding has diluted the addressability part of the digitization project.

Goel informed that they are also making significant improvement towards lining up additional transponder capacity to improve its existing bandwidth. This additional capacity will apparently be used in distributing localized content and strengthening its carriage revenues.

Financials

Dish TV reported an operating revenue of Rs 578.4 crore for the quarter, up 4.1% from Rs 555.4 crore in the previous quarter, and up 11.2% YoY. The net loss also significantly declined to Rs 30.4 crore for the quarter, down from Rs 43.6 crore loss in the previous quarter and Rs 32.3 crore loss in the same quarter last year.

Its EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization) for the quarter was at Rs 121.7 crore, up from 120 crore in the previous quarter, while the EBITDA margin for the quarter remained flat at 21%. The company attributed this flat growth to higher investment in marketing, brand building, seasonal sports driven content and depreciating rupee.

Download: Press Release | Financials