Stiff competition from digital cable operators has forced India’s biggest DTH television company, Dish TV, to partner with neighbourhood cable operators, opening up a new front in the war between the DTH and cable industries.
India’s top four metros – Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata – will replace all analogue television networks with digital transmission from July 1st. This has led to a scramble between multi-system operators and DTH operators.
Their fight could end up giving a fresh lease of life to the local cable operators who were until now providing the last mile connectivity for the MSOs, but were faced with the threat of extinction with the launch of digital set top boxes.
Dish TV chief executive RC Venkateish said the company has launched a pilot project in Delhi and he expects to grab 1-1.5 million subscribers across cities in the short term through tie-ups with the cable operators.
These operators have been given the option to take up distribution and installation of Dish TV connections to customers and push Dish TV set-top boxes in cable households with the first phase of cable digitalisation.
Currently, the company has agreements with about thirty cable operators, but expects to roll out this scheme in the country and rope in about 3,000 local cable operators in the next two months. “This scheme helps us open a new distribution channel and establish a personal contact with our customers. Our last-mile operators will install these boxes, service the connections as well as collect bills,” Venkateish said.