DTH operators Tata Sky, Dish TV raise charges by over 10 per cent

Sanjay Singh   New Delhi     Last Updated: May 27, 2013  | 00:00 IST

Cashing in on the digitisation drive, direct-to-home (DTH) operators such as Tata Sky and Dish TV have quietly hiked their base pan-India tariff by over 10 per cent.

The increase, which is across all packs and regions, including south India - a price-sensitive market - was done soon after the second phase of digitisation started on March 31 covering 38 cities with a population of more than one million.

Dish TV had increased its set-top box prices twice in February and with the increase in monthly subscription fees, it expects average revenue per user (arpu) to touch Rs 180 next fiscal.

A DTH industry executive said their bottom line has been hit badly as they have not hiked tariffs since the last two years. They argue that it was not possible to sustain the high operating cost involved in DTH services and were forced to pass on some part of the service tax component to subscribers.

Tata Sky, a leading DTH operator, has also increased its base tariff by, at least, 10 per cent without making a formal announcement. Only those who have subscribed to SMS service were informed about the new base price.

Harit Nagpal, managing director and chief executive officer, Tata Sky, had earlier told MAIL TODAY that tariffs of DTH services in India are amongst the lowest in the world.

Cable operators in some upscale areas have also increased their tariffs by as much as 10 to 20 per cent. While the digitisation drive has pitted multi-system operators and their linked local cable operators against DTH providers, experts say the focus is not on customer acquisition alone.

Now, operators are looking at pricing and profitability , which will keep them afloat.

In fact, Tata Sky is expected to come up with an initial public offering and few others are also thinking on similar lines to generate additional funds.

In association with Mail Today

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