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India’s Videocon d2h branded satellite broadcasting operation is aiming to quickly move into the Top 3 slot amongst India’s hugely competitive DTH broadcasters. Last year (2013) they achieved growth of 26-27 per cent, and taking their total subscriber base to more than 10 million.
D2h’s CEO Anil Khera says that 2013 saw a 1TB set-top box launched, and the broadcaster has tightened up on Churn helped by the growing shift in India to all-digital transmission. Indeed, such is Khera’s optimism that Videocon has upped subscriber fees by 5-6 per cent during the past year.
Khera, in an interview with IndianTelevision, says that the DTH sector has in effect subsidised the nation’s cable distributors “for far too long”. He added: “With digitisation complete in the Phase I and II major markets for carriage, it’s high time broadcasters and aggregators star treating digital cable and DTH at par. They can’t continue to expect DTH to fund everyone’s P&L forever. In the entire value chain DTH is the only industry where all six players are still making losses.”
On the positive side of the equation, Khera said that 25-30 per cent of cable viewers had switched to DTH during the recent digitisation conversion programme, and 30-35 per cent in the more widespread Phase II process. Of that total he said that about 26-27 per cent had switched to Videocon’s d2h service. He stated that the DTH industry expected Phase III and Phase IV of India’s massive cable digitisation programme to see a further shift towards DTH transmission.
And as well as moving up India’s broadcasting league table, Khera’s ambitions were to see Videocon d2h “amongst the world’s Top 10 pay-TV operators.