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Q3FY19: DishTV launches OTT app ‘Watcho’ and streaming SMRT Stick

DishTV has launched its own OTT app called ‘Watcho’ in beta stage. DishTV had announced this over six months ago. The app appears to run on a freemium model – there’s a bracket of free content for streaming, and another bracket which is available only to paying subscribers.

A monthly subscription costs Rs 30, probably the cheapest for an OTT video streaming service in India. A yearly subscription is available for Rs 300, and a promo 6-month plan is also available for Rs 150. (Update: A DishTV source told MediaNama that the app will be available free for 6 months for DishTV and D2h customers, but only for 3 months for others.) The app has at least 9 originals, along with live streaming and catch-up streaming of channels, short films. It is also running a campaign for a ‘content creation’ festival – some of this content is already streaming on Watcho.

DishTV group CEO Anil Dua said that DishTV’s advantage of being able to stream “content through both, the traditional and streaming mediums would ensure subscriber brand loyalty…The flexibility to move between pipes would enable consumers to keep TV viewing costs under check.”

DishTV had launched a streaming app called Dish Online over five years ago, but this service no longer exists.

SMRT Stick 

DishTV also launched a “SMRT Stick” for Rs 599, and can be plugged into existing HD set-top boxes. The stick currently offers 10 channels, including Entertainment Zee, Smart Kids, Music Box, offering content across comedy, kids, travel, music videos, and also access to other OTT apps like promoter group Zee’s OTT app ZEE5, Sony Liv, and Hungama. It also sells a premium subscription for Rs 49, at the end of 6 months.

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Financials & DTH metrics

The company reported consolidated operational revenues of Rs 1,517 crore, slightly lower by 6% YoY. It reported profits of Rs 152.6 crore this quarter, as against losses of Rs 168.2 crore in the same quarter last year, and profits of just Rs 19.7 crore in the preceding quarter.

  • Subscription revenues: Rs 1,412.6 crore
  • Advertising revenue: Rs 30 crore
  • EBITDA: Rs 517.6 crore, EBITDA margin: 34.1%
  • Profit after Tax: Rs 152.7 crore
  • ARPU has not been disclosed this quarter, last quarter ARPU was Rs 207

Subscriber base: DishTV reported 142,000 net subscriber additions this quarter, with a total net subscriber base of 23.6 million. In the preceding quarter, the company had added 200,000 subscribers.

  • 3.5 million NXT HD boxes

The company said that “Phase 4 markets, increasing TV households, urbanization, growing multi-TV households, rural electrification and an improving consumer sentiment remain the primary drivers of DTH subscriber additions.”

The company’s DTH license has been renewed by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting until June 2019. Its Sri Lanka unit incurred loses for which the company has extended loans of Rs 70 crore for recovery. The company said its merger with Videocon is nearing completion; the company also launched a common CRM for both both Dish TV and D2h brands.

Download: Financials & Release

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