Dish TV added 200,000 subscribers the quarter ending September 2018, with a net subscriber base of 2.35 crore. Note that before the merger with Videocon in the last fiscal, the company had 1.6 crore subscribers (Q3FY18). The company is yet to launch the OTT service which it had announced at the end of FY2017-18. Dish TV says it will also launch a ‘SMRT Stick’ with which TV owners will be able stream cable and OTT content.

In numbers

  • Subscription revenue: Rs 1453.6 crore, a fall of 2% QoQ, slightly impacted by lack of major sports events like those in Q1.
  • Operating revenue: Rs 1594.3 crore, a fall of 3.6% QoQ
  • ARPU: Rs 207, up marginally by 3% at Rs 207 from Rs 201 last quarter, although it was sequentially lower. Note that prior to the merger, Dish TV’s standalone ARPU was Rs 144.
  • EBITDA: Rs 540 crore, also down by 2.8% QoQ
  • Profit after Tax: 19.7 crore, a substantial fall of 22% from Rs 25.5 crore last quarter
  • Net subscriber additions in Q1: 300,000

Financial numbers are not comparable with the previous year since Videocon D2H merged with Dish TV in March this year. This is the third quarterly report since the merger.

New OTT platform

As we have pointed out before, it is strange that Dish TV is launching its own OTT platform, given that its promoter Zee Group has its own OTT platform Zee5. Dish TV’s OTT platform will supposedly offer content through both “traditional and streaming” media: “Our confidence on the success of this hybrid offering stems from the fact that linear television offers what no OTT offering can, and not vice-versa. Unlike most competitors, our OTT offering would be a fair mix of original content, linear TV channels and catchup content,” said Dua in the statement.

Another yet-to-launched product ‘Connected Box’ will be enable streaming through streaming and linear TV via DTH.

On the future of TV distribution and rise of OTT

Dish TV expects growth in the coming years as TV-owning households will increase from 19.7 crore to 22 crore in the next three years. “Considering that majority of these additions would come in from non-urban markets, Dish TV as a rural focused DTH player, would continue to enjoy excellent growth in the years ahead,” said the company is a statement.

On the future of TV distribution: Jawahar Goel, MD of Dish TV, said, “With limited takers for fibre or fixed line broadband, watching television through IPTV is going to be even scarce. In fact, post running an internal analysis, we see less than 1% of our subscriber base to be vulnerable to any kind of IPTV threat in the foreseeable future. Our competitive strength in the rural market ring fences our subscriber base almost completely.”

Download: Financials