India’s leading DTH broadcaster, Dish TV, reported improving Q2 revenues and profits, but said that subscriber growth is slowing. Dish TV’s net loss narrowed to Rs 160 million ($2.6m) from Rs. 304 million) in the same period last year. Revenues rose 2.5 per cent to $96.4 million during a quarter in which Dish TV added 164,000 gross new subscribers, of which 11.5 per cent are also taking HD. It is that 164,000 new subscribers which is worrying the market given that Q1 saw 200,000 new additions, and the same Q2 period last year saw 477,000 gross additions.
Dish TV explains that a recent entry price increase (box plus sub) of some 30 per cent has slowed down subscriptions, but had helped maintain ARPU and boost profitability. Dish TV says it remains confident of winning 1 million new subscribers during this financial year. It currently has more than 11 million subs.
Dish TV managing director Jawahar Goel said that while some competitors slashed prices to woo more customers, Dish TV did not succumb to this pressure. “The quarter witnessed brief periods of desperate attempts to undercut prices by select DTH platforms. Dish TV, aware of the subsequent fallout of throw away prices, chose not to jump on the bandwagon,” he said.