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Cable TV biz to grow over 6-fold to $7.7 bn by 2015: report
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The proposed complete digitisation of cable TV distribution business will help the industry grow over six-fold to $7.7 billion by 2015, a report said.

The subscriber base could also grow four-times to 86 million digital TV homes by 2015, from 22 million currently, with an estimated capital infusion of $five billion, equity research firm IDFC Securities said in a report.

In a major development for the Cable TV distribution space, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), which is responsible for regulation of the sector, has proposed a sunset date of December 31, 2013, for complete migration from analogue to digital cable services.

Among other recommendations, TRAI has proposed four phases of migration, starting with a March 31, 2011, deadline for the four metros. Besides, it has also recommended a 7-year tax holiday for digital addressable system service providers and waiver of basic customs duty on some key equipment.

IDFC Securities said the these recommendations are "extremely positive" for the Indian TV distribution sector.

"By 2015, we expect India to become the second largest digital market in the world with 86 million digital homes (4-times jump from the current 22 million homes)," it said.

The report noted that "this would underpin a 6.5 times leap in the organised industry to $7.7 billion (from the current $1.2 billion). The US is expected to remain the world's largest market with 105 million digital homes in 2015, from less than 90 million currently.

IDFC Securities further said that the capital requirement of the industry would be pegged at $five billion, as $four billion has already been invested to reach 22 million homes.

The research noted said that the TRAI recommendations could potentially underpin faster growth in the overall industry, but implementation of these recommendations require approval of the I&B ministry and the timeline for that was still uncertain.

The listed players in the organised cable TV distribution include DEN Networks, Hathway Cable and Dish TV.

Dish TV is the country's largest DTH (Direct-to-Home) player with 30 per cent market share, while Hathway and DEN are the two largest national MSOs (multi-service operators or operators of multiple cable TV systems).
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