DTH to hit sixer with World Cup
The Indian direct-to-home (DTH) industry is likely to hit a sixer at the cricket World Cup scheduled for February-March.business Updated: Jan 11, 2011 21:32 IST
The Indian direct-to-home (DTH) industry is likely to hit a sixer at the cricket World Cup scheduled for February-March. The industry — just a million subscribers away from piping US as the world leader in DTH market — is working fervently towards its goal and the forthcoming World Cup may just act as a catalyst. India currently has 29 million subscribers while the US has 30 million.
"The year 2010 delivered phenomenal growth for the Indian DTH industry, which would get further ignited by the cricket World Cup season. The event would bridge the gap between India and US subscriber base because generally, cricket frenzy creates soaring demand for high definition and digital viewing," said Ajai Puri, CEO, DTH services, Bharti Airtel.
India added over 13 million subscribers in 2010.
For new entrants like Videocon, DTH World Cup is the best event for promotion purposes. "We will be using the event as an opportunity to promote our product in a big way," said Saurabh Dhoot, director, Videocon Group. "Looking at the list of events pending for the next year, the Indian DTH market will add over 15 million subscribers pushing the subscriber base to over 45 million."
Anticipating a huge surge in demand, DTH firms are framing promotional schemes, value-added services (VAS) and capacity expansions programmes.
The industry is betting big on the Indian cricket frenzy. Dish TV has increased transponders capacity by over 50% to boost the capacity of its standard definition channel to over 320 and high-definition channel to over 30. The company claims it will be higher than any competing DTH operator. "The event holds lots of promises for us and we see high average revenue per user capacities. A noticeable shift from CRT screens to LCDs or LEDs will take place and the industry may get the remaining million subscribers," said Salil Kapoor, chief operating officer, Dish TV.
Tata Sky, which broadcasts over 280 channels, plans to expand capacity while Airtel Digital plans more TV commercials to boost its brand and sales.
Value-added services are likely to drive revenue growth during the event. "We have 50 full-time employees working on innovative VAS concepts and cricket is one of the events when VAS acts as a differentiator," said Vikram Mehra, chief marketing officer, Tata Sky.