India's largest DTH operator DishTV is in talks with two other DTH operators to form a joint venture which will work on content and carriage agreements with broadcasters, DishTV CEO R C Venkateish has told TelevisionPost. Venkateish said all the three partners will own equal stake in the joint venture, although he declined to disclose the name of the partners with whom they are currently in talks. Citing a source close to the development, the publication says Dish TV is currently in talks with Videocon d2h and Airtel Digital TV, although the CEO's of both companies haven't commented on this to DTH. This essentially looks like a counter measure from DTH operators to combat against channel distribution companies, in a bid to reduce its content costs and demand higher carriage rates from broadcasters, and to us, it appears as if cartelization from the carriage side is being countered by a cartel on the distribution side. Venkateish claimed they currently receive a "meager carriage revenue" and pay more to the broadcasters as content costs, despite a significant subscriber base. Last month while discussing Dish TV's quarterly results (pdf), Dish TV managing director Jawahar Goel had also noted that it was about time broadcasters either revisit the favourable terms (including carriage fees) provided to MSOs or else extend the same terms to DTH platforms as well, since they currently generate more than 60% of its subscription revenues from DTH platforms. As of now, broadcasters have to pay a specific carriage fee to DTH operators to distribute its channels on the respective DTH platforms. However in a…
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