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Cable TV, DTH operators lose 1.5 million subscribers in quarter ending September 2021

The latest TRAI report shows a decrease in total active subscribers of DTH services, from 69.86 million in June 2021 to 68.89 million in September 2021, a 1.4% downward shift

In the quarter ending September 2021, the cable TV and DTH operators lost 1.5 million subscribers according to the latest Indian Telecom Services Performance Indicators report released by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

DTH providers lost 0.97 million subscribers while major cable operators recorded a decrease of 0.55 million subscribers. 

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Total cable subscribers went down from 46 million in June 2021 to 45.5 million in September 2021. 

This comes against the backdrop of the increasing popularity of streaming services and OTT platforms and a steady increase in the number of internet subscribers in the country. 

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Pay DTH operators 

The DTH market consists of four major players, Tata Sky leads with a 33.34% market share, then comes Bharti Telemedia with a 26.11% market share, followed by Dish TV and Sun Direct TV with 22.65% and 17.91% market share, respectively. 

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While the change in market share remained steady for the quarter ending September 30, 2021, most notably there was a decrease in Dish TV’s market share by 0.8%, which amounts to a loss of 0.5 million subscribers.

As per TRAI, the Indian broadcasters reported that after their pursuance of the Tariff Order dated March 3, 2017 as amended, India has 348 satellite pay TV channels, as of September 30, 2021. This includes 252 SD satellite pay TV channels and 96 HD satellite pay TV channels. 

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In total, 906 private satellite TV channels are officially permitted by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB). The total number of satellite channels also saw a decrease from 915 on 30th June to 906 on 30th September.

Cable operators 

Cable operators have two categories, Multiple System Operators (MSOs) and headed-in-the-sky (HITS) operators. In total, there are 1745 MSOs registered with MIB. Currently, there are 12 MSOs and 1 HITS operator with a subscriber base exceeding a million. 

The major operators saw reshuffling at the top with GTPL Hathaway taking the top spot over Siti Networks. Notably, both of these operators lost subscribers during July-Sept 2021 but Siti networks decrease was steeper than GTPL Hathaway, resulting in a shift in positions. 

Cable Operator

Jun-21

Sep-21

GTPL Hathway Ltd.

7,833,694

7,799,167

Siti Networks Ltd.

7,861,314

7,649,554

Hathway Digital Ltd.

5,603,942

5,505,062

Den Networks Ltd.

4,862,741

4,670,618

Thamizhaga Cable TV Communication Pvt Ltd

3,693,943

3,762,040

Kerala Communicators Cable Ltd

2,889,439

2,935,006

Tamil Nadu Arasu Cable TV Corporation Ltd

2,885,583

2,789,971

Fastway Transmissions Pvt Ltd

2,195,619

2,149,610

KAL Cables Pvt. Ltd.

2,081,801

2,123,566

NXT Digital Ltd (HITS)

2,025,202

2,005,747

V K Digital Network Pvt. Ltd.

1,845,823

1,906,348

Asianet Digital Network Pvt. Ltd.

1,208,681

1,175,658

NXT Digital Ltd (Cable TV)

1,105,650

1,056,902

Total

38,259,738

37,730,082

FM Radio 

The report also showcased the performance of Radio in India. India has 385 operational private FM Radio stations in 112 cities owned by 34 private FM Radio broadcasters. This excludes the radio channels operated by All India Radio. India also has 339 operational community radio stations in India. 

Interestingly, the revenue generation reported by FM Radio broadcasters during the quarter stood at Rs 294.78 crore, as against Rs 148.02 crore in the previous quarter, almost doubling in a matter of three months. 

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