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DTH Update

Airtel Digital TV Adds Just Over 1 Lakh Subscribers In Q3 FY20; Overall User Base Reaches 16.3 Million

Airtel Digital TV, the DTH arm of Bharti Airtel, has revealed its performance report for the quarter that ended on December 31, 2019. During the quarter, Airtel Digital TV added just over one lakh new users which took its overall user base to 16.3 million as of December 31. Thanks to the TRAI tariff regime, DTH operators were unable to add new subscribers, despite coming up with attractive offers on Set-Top Boxes and even providing an option of linear Set-Top Box in the form of Airtel Xstream Box. In addition to discounts on STBs, Airtel Digital TV even collaborated with Smart TV brands like Xiaomi, Samsung and LG to provide the Xstream Box at a reduced price. Despite all these, the operator managed to grab just one lakh new users which is on the lower side.

Airtel Digital TV Reports Increased Total Revenue

Yesterday, Bharti Airtel published the full Q3 FY20 report in which it revealed an increased 4G user base, boosted ARPU and more. In the same report, the telco has revealed the quarterly performance of Airtel Digital TV. Going by the report, Airtel Digital TV’s total revenue saw an increase to Rs 792.2 crore in Q3 FY20 from Rs 789.3 crore which it reported in Q2 FY20.

As for the operating profit, it saw a decline to Rs 544.1 crore from Rs 560.7 crore the preceding quarter. Airtel Digital TV’s EBITDA margin stood at 68.7% compared to 71% in the second quarter of the financial year 2020. Besides, the operating free cash flow was at Rs 193.1 crore compared to Rs 355.6 crore, whereas the Capex deployment increased to Rs 350.9 crore from Rs 205.2 in Q2 FY20.

Moving onto the subscriber base, Airtel Digital TV added just 101,000 new users during Q3 FY20 and ended the quarter with an overall user base of 16.3 million. The Average Revenue per User (ARPU) continues to remain flat at Rs 162, but the DTH operator’s monthly churn rate witnessed a slight increase to 1.8% from 1.6%. Even Airtel Digital TV’s Q2 FY20 wasn’t a fruitful one as it added just 181,000 new users. In two quarters, Airtel Digital TV added less than three lakh new customers which is underwhelming.

Airtel Digital TV is the Third Largest Pay DTH Operator in India

We now have just four pay DTH operators in India right now and they are Tata Sky, Dish TV (including D2h), Airtel Digital TV and Sun Direct. Airtel Digital TV is the third largest DTH operator with a subscriber base of 16.3 million. Tata Sky is leading the chart followed by Dish TV. But we may see Dish TV regaining its top spot thanks to the affordable Android TV STB Dish SMRT Hub.

Airtel Digital TV is unable to add new users in a large number which is also the case with other DTH operators, thanks to the Trai tariff regime. TV viewers are more inclined towards watching content on OTT platforms. Even they are relying on OTT platforms to watch Live TV channels.―Telecom Talk

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