DTH players race to cash in on digitisation as July 1 looms | india | Hindustan Times
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DTH players race to cash in on digitisation as July 1 looms

india Updated: Jun 03, 2012 21:21 IST
Vivek Sinha

DTH (direct-to-home) players are sniffing a big opportunity to boost subscriber base as the July 1 deadline approaches for digitisation of television signals in the four metros — Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai.

The likes of Dish TV, Tata Sky and Airtel Digital TV have stepped up efforts to woo new subscribers into their fold, and are running campaigns detailing the benefits associated with their brand.

With digitasation kicking in, at least seven million new subscribers would need a set-top-box to watch TV programmes.

Vikram Mehra, chief marketing officer at Tata Sky, said the company has been running several campaigns to help the consumer make an informed choice. “The whole purpose of digitisation is to widen the choice bouquet for a consumer, along with better picture quality. Contrary to popular perception it is not costly,” he said.

As per the government’s diktat, from July 1, television signals in the four metros will switch from analog to digital mode, which in effect means a set-top-box will be necessary to watch TV. The move follows Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2011, passed by Lok Sabha, which makes conversion of analogue to digital mandatory.

The change will be in a phased manner. By next March, around 38 cities would have switched to the digital mode.

“The market potential for operators offering digital content is huge with over 100 million homes to be converted to a digital platform in 3 years - the largest in the world at this point,” said Shashi Arora, CEO Airtel Digital TV.
With sales of flat-panel TVs spiralling, more and more people would opt for DTH, he said.

The number of DTH households is likely to grow from 37 million in 2011 to 86 million by 2016, says a FICICI-KPMG report.