India: Reliance’s Independent TV losing cash
September 24, 2018
By Chris Forrester
Indian DTH operator Independent TV (previously known as ‘Big TV’), and backed by Reliance Communications, is losing money hand-over-fist.
In its full-year results (to March 31st) the DTH operation’s revenues crashed 45.4 per cent and representing a nine-fold increase in losses over the previous year.
Reliance Communications (RCom) said that the company has entered into a definitive binding agreement with Pantel Technologies and Veecon Media and Television for sale of Independent TV. Prior to the MoU with Veecon, RCom had issued a notice stating that the DTH business is being shut down from November 18th due to the expiry of its licence.
Part of the reason for the collapse in revenues was that many broadcasters had ceased supplying their channels and programming because of missed payment of carriage fees.
Satellite business Antrix (the commercial arm of ISRO) has taken Independent TV to court over unpaid capacity fees.
According to data from the Ministry of Broadcasting, the DTH operator has just a 1 per cent share of the market.