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The subscriber growth rate of the direct to Home television services operator Dish TV seems to be improving, albeit marginally: It added 0.332 million net subscribers for the quarter ended June 30, 2014 (Q1-FY15), up from 0.226 million additions in previous quarter and 0.2 million additions in the same quarter last year. 

The net subscriber base now stands at 11.7 million for the quarter, up from 11.4 million subscribers in the previous quarter. The company hadn’t disclosed its net subscribers in Q1-FY14.

Highlights

– Average Revenue Per User: The average revenue per user (ARPU) for Dish TV remained flat sequentially at Rs 170 for the quarter. It increased by 3% year-on-year (YoY) from Rs 165 in Q1-FY14.

– The subscription revenues for the quarter was at Rs 588.6 crore, up 11.5% from Rs 528 crore revenues in the same quarter last year.

Churn increased to 0.7% for the quarter, after remaining at 0.6% for the preceding two quarters.

– During the quarter, Dish TV expanded its sub-brand Zing which focuses on vernacular content and caters to the Phase 3 & 4 digitization markets. Zing is now available across Odisha, West Bengal, Tripura, parts of Assam and most parts of Maharashtra.

– Dish TV hiked the prices of its middle and top level packs by 5-7% from the first week of June. Dish TV managing director Jawahar Goel mentioned that this hike was in line with the company’s objective of growth with profitability.

– Goel mentions that there has been efforts to implement last mile billing by the MSO’s, but a full-fledged rollout is needed to witness a jump in ARPUs across the category.

DTH License renewal: Goel hopes that its license renewal issue is also resolved early in the industry’s favour. Note that Dish TV’s DTH license was valid up to September 30, 2013. The company had however mentioned in the previous quarter that it had approached relevant authorities before the expiry date, who had extended the license validity for an interim time until the final policy for the renewal of DTH license is laid down by the government.

Financials

Dish TV reported an operating revenue of Rs 640.7 crore for the quarter, nearly flat from Rs 636.9 crore in the previous quarter, and up 10.8% YoY.

The net loss also significantly declined to Rs 16 crore for the quarter, down from Rs 149 crore loss in the previous quarter and Rs 30.6 crore loss in the same quarter last year. It’s worth noting that the previous quarter loss includes a prior period adjustment of Rs 116.4 crore on account of one-time advance contribution towards CPEs (Consumer Premises Equipment or essentially set top boxes) in the form of rentals and activation. Without this adjustment, the company would’ve reported a loss of Rs 32.6 crore, which is still higher.

The EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization) for the quarter was at Rs 157.1 crore, up 29.1% YoY while the EBITDA margin was at 24.5% for the quarter.

Download: Press Release | Financials