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Dish TV Q4 FY18 revenues at Rs 15,324 mn; to launch its OTT service soon

Dish TV India has reported consolidated subscription revenues of Rs 13,771 million and operating revenues of Rs 15,324 million for the fourth quarter of FY2018. Adjusted EBITDA for the quarter stood at Rs 4,606 million. Adjusted EBITDA margin was recorded at 30.1 per cent. 

On March 22, 2018, Videocon d2h had merged with and into Dish TV India, with the appointed date of the merger being October 1, 2017. Financials of Dish TV India for the quarter ended March 31, 2018 thus represent 3 months financial performance each of Dish TV India and Videocon d2h. Similarly, financials of Dish TV India for the year ended March 31, 2018 represent 12 months financial performance of Dish TV India and 6 months financial performance of Videocon d2h. 

Financial numbers for the fourth quarter and fiscal 2018 are thus not comparable with the corresponding periods last year. 

Beginning of a New Era 

Despite all the ups and downs, the coming together of India’s two DTH giants is now a reality. A new era has begun for both, the Indian economy and Dish TV India, as they gear up to ride the consumers increasing propensity to consume, with consumer spending picking up, almost one and a half years post the announcement of demonetisation. 

The merged company’s subscriber base is a fair mix of urban, semi-urban and rural subscribers that would enable it to benefit from increased discretionary spending across categories. A healthier urban mix would be beneficial to the revenue pool while at the same time a stable, paying, rural base would help buffer the platform from alternate technologies. 

Jawahar Goel, CMD, Dish TV India, commented, “There is significant growth potential both in the short and the long term when it comes to acquiring new subscribers. While in the short term, digitisation will continue to feed subscriber additions, government schemes focused on bridging the urban/ rural divide, increasing farm incomes and electricity connection to rural households will create demand for new televisions and pay-TV connections in the years to come.” 

Consolidation to Lead to Value Creation 

Three well recognised brands – Dish TV, d2h and Zing – are now being marketed under the Dish TV India umbrella, with each being favourably positioned in its key target markets. While Dish TV has always had a high top-of-the-mind consumer brand recall, d2h had the advantage of having high brand loyalty in trade circles. Zing, on the other hand, has been a leader when it comes to having tailor-made packages for regional audiences. 

Identifying the strengths of each brand, the company has been targeting profitable growth while maintaining healthy competition and encouraging synergy in backend operations. Separate sales teams with uniform structures are both complementing as well as productively competing with each other in the market. 

On the customer service front, the company is targeting 450 company owned service centres and around 5,500 company technicians that would be capable of doing more than 1 million home visits every month. Aiming to cross utilise critical infrastructure for synergies, the company is also confident of a faster turnaround time for customer resolutions in the process. 

Revenue, cost and financial synergies to the tune of Rs 5,100 million are expected in FY2019. 

The Road Ahead 

Post the merger of Dish TV India and Videocon d2h, the merged company has a subscriber base of 23 million with a market share of 37 per cent. 

With most of the integration work having been done, the new leadership mix comprising of select professionals from both entities will guide a much larger company into its maiden era. Under the guidance of Jawahar Goel and Group CEO Anil Dua, the company has commenced its inaugural innings. 

Goel said, “It’s time to now put all thoughts to action and deliver what is expected from two leading platforms when they come together. I am happy to share that merger integration across functions has been successfully completed and new roles, responsibilities and key deliverables have been well received by our team.” 

“I see a new sense of passion and urgency all around in the company and believe that we have everything we need to surge ahead,” he added. 

The company expects to outgrow the industry growth rate, backed by launch of new set-top-boxes that would be full HD compliant yet would be more economical than the existing consumer premises equipment. The company plans to up its High Definition base so as to ramp up its ARPU in the coming years. 

Anil Dua informed, “Revenue would be further fortified through Value Added Services, some of which have already been cross rolled-out on all three brands. With demonetisation, poor rural demand and merger related distractions behind us, we are confident of a sharp turnaround in our operating and financial performance in this fiscal.” 

Working towards increasing customer stickiness and brand loyalty, Dish TV India would be soon launching its fully integrated OTT service that would enable time-shift as well as live TV viewing of television content by Dish TV subscribers while on the go. 

Following the merger, Dish TV India has harmonised the recognition of subscriber churn in line with industry practice. The company now recognises churn 60 days past due date, instead of 120 days past due date earlier. 

On the regulatory front, Dish TV believes that the recent ruling by the Madras High Court on the TRAI Tariff and Interconnection Orders, 2017 would go a long way in ensuring a level playing field in the television distribution space in India.

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