Home / Industry / Media /  DTH subscriber base shrinks by over 2 million over 2019

The direct-to-home television subscriber base of India shrank by more than 2 million over 2019. The segment ended the year with 69.98 million as compared to 72.44 million in March the same year. These are findings from the Indian Telecom Services Performance Indicator Report October – December 2019 published by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai). This is, however, a marginal growth from the 69.30 million subscribers reported in September 2019.

Further, the DTH market in India is dominated by Tata Sky (31.80%), followed by Dish TV (30.55%), Airtel (23.31%) and Sun Direct (14.35%).

“At Tata Sky our commitment is to ensure our ever increasing base of consumers can access their entertainment across platforms," a Tata Sky spokseperson said in a statement. “As we explore technology driven newer platforms for content delivery and further scale up our customer support, we are confident that our viewers will continue to make Tata Sky the prime choice of their entertainment needs. The report also reinforces our belief that Television as a medium of entertainment continues to grow and strengthen."

Besides, according to the report, there are 332 pay channels in India as on 31 December 2019 which include 234 SD (standard definition) pay TV channels and 98 HD (high definition) pay TV channels. This is a marginal increase from the 330 channels at the end of 2018. The total number of satellite channels registered with the ministry of information and broadcasting has touched 918 as compared to 880 in December 2018.

The number of DTH operators remains four while the number of MSOs (multiple system operators) is 13.

Much of the disruption in the TV business may be attributed to the new tariff order (NTO) introduced by Trai in 2019, according to which, consumers could choose the TV channels they want to watch and pay only for them at maximum retail prices (MRPs) set by broadcasters, instead of the pre-set bouquets offered earlier.

The new tariff order was expected to make channels cheaper for the consumer and offer more choice. However, on ground, the opposite happened as the cost of like-to-like channel options went up.

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