Dish Tv subscriber base at 2.7 million; Q3 net loss Rs 1.16

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Subhash Chandra’s direct-to-home (DTH) service DishTV has posted a net loss of Rs 1.16 billion for the quarter ended 31 December 2007.

DishTV added 297,000 new subscribers during Q3, up from 278,000 additions in Q2, an increase of 7 per cent quarter-on-quarter. Its gross subscriber base stood at 2.7 million as on 31 December 2007.

During the period, Dish TV’s operating revenue was up 48 per cent at Rs 1.12 billion as compared to Rs 755.01 million in the previous quarter. Subscription revenues were up 26 per cent.

The company’s operating loss stood at Rs 641.61 million, from Rs 472.32 million in the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal.

Expenditure in the third quarter touched Rs 1.76 billion, 43 per cent higher than in the corresponding quarter of the previous quarter. Rs 1.05 billion was spent on costs of goods and services, which is 46 per cent of the total expenditure; 14 per cent expenditure went on advertisement (Rs 306.20 million), while 11 per cent on distribution (Rs 253.18 million).

Dish TV chairman Subhash Chandra said, “This quarter has seen sustained emphasis on subscriber acquisition and improvement in the quality of subscriber base, through aggressive marketing initiatives. This is reflecting in a healthy 26 per cent increase in subscription revenue. Going forward, the company will continue with a strategy that focuses both on subscriber growth and revenue enhancement.

“In the last few months, focus on process improvement and efficiencies has also resulted in improvement in operating margins and cost ratios across key expense heads. We are also glad to have entered into a distribution alliance with Future Group to provide consumers with unparalleled quality of digital television services directly to their homes. We are confident that DishTV would deliver long term value to all its stakeholders.”

The company claims to have expanded its front end service network to 90 towns. It is available in 4,400 towns through 38,000 dealers and over 575 distributors. It has 180 channels in its bouquet.

Dish TV CEO Arun Kumar Kapoor said, “Today, we have subscribers in over 4,400 towns, which are covered through 575 Distributors and over 38,000 retail outlets. Moreover, our alliance with a leading consumer durable brand (Future Group) has strengthened our presence at many exclusive brand stores, thus enabling DishTV to reach the premium consumers.

“December also saw the entry of another DTH player, Sun Direct, in the four southern states. However, we continue to show robust growth in this territory, due to a combination of our superior regional languages offering and some aggressive marketing initiatives.”

The period saw Dish TV diluting 4.9 per cent stake to Indivision Capital, the private equity arm of Kishore Biyani’s Future Group.

Commenting on the tie-up with Future Group, Kapoor said: “This exclusive distribution tie-up would give a further boost to the brand image and availability of our products across all Future Group outlets in India. We will continue to develop this relationship further for building long term brand salience.

“Further, our brand salience has grown tremendously and placed us at a vantage position in the consumers’ mind. Apart from mass media, our retail visibility has also grown significantly, thereby helping in higher recall and conversions. This growth trend has been reflected across all market segments and we see great potential in the smaller cities whose contribution to our sales has been growing steadily.”

Dish TV uses the platform of NSS-6 satellite, which is suitable for use in ITU K and N rain zones.

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