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DTH Update

Airtel Digital TV Reduces Rs 200 On New SD, HD Set-Top-Boxes

After the new regulatory framework by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), DTH industry has also become very competitive in the past few months. Now to take on the competition, Bharti Airtel’s DTH wing Airtel Digital TV has slashed HD and SD set-top-boxes (STB) up to Rs 200. The new customers will now get as much as Rs 200 discount on fresh connections, reports TelecomTalk.

It is noted that the discount is only running on HD and SD set-top-boxes, and it will not be available on the Airtel’s Internet TV set-top-box. The move of providing a discount on new connections comes right after Tata Sky’s offer. A few days back, Tata Sky had also slashed the prices of its set-top boxes by Rs 400 to lure in more customers. Just like Airtel Digital TV, the discounted prices on new STBs by Tata Sky is applicable on HD and SD boxes only.

Meanwhile, rumors around the block suggest Airtel Digital TV might merge with Dish TV to create largest DTH company in India. Reportedly, the talks between the two companies are still in exploratory stages and no terms have been discussed. The merger is being discussed in order to consolidate their operations and put up a strong fight against Reliance Jio. If the merger goes through then the combined entity will become the world’s largest TV distribution company with 38 million subscribers and 61 percent of the DTH market share in India.

Consolidation is not new to the DTH business in India. Back in March last year, Videocon D2h and Dish TV merged their business while Airtel tried to sell its DTH business to Tata Sky but the deal could not go through. Airtel sold 20 percent stake in Airtel Telemedia, the parent company of Airtel Digital TV, to private equity firm Warburg Pincus. The stake was reportedly valued at $350 million and had put the equity value of the DTH business at Rs 11,300 crore. ―BGR

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