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DTH News : MSO at a price disadvantage over DTH
#1
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Phase I Digitization level reaches 84%:I&B Ministry

The overall level of digitization goes upto "84% in four metro cities" as per the figures now available with the I&B Ministry.The level of Cable TV digitization in Delhi has increased to 66%. Mumbai leads with 99% followed by Kolkata at 73%, and Chennai 59% .

It has been reported by the 6 private DTH operators that 9.45 Lakh households have got DTH connections in Delhi as on 9th October 2012. As per the data made available by the Multi System Operators, 15.88 Lakh Set Top Boxes have already been installed in Delhi.

The Ministry has also clarified on the suspicion raised by the press towards the data supplied. During the initial stage of planning, the data was collated by the Ministry based on the information supplied by the MSOs.

As per the Census data 2011 released by the Office of Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India, the Total Households in Delhi are 33.41 Lakh with 88% TV penetration which implies that Delhi has 29.39 Lakh TV households. However inspite of the rise of figures to 66% ,19.94 Lakh households still have Cable TV connections and about 23.93 lakhs subscribers require set top boxes.
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#2
With digitization deadline round the corner it has been known that the broadcaster and MSOs are engaged in hectic negotiations over distribution revenues as per the report in moneycontrol.com.

The report highlights that the MSOs are at a price disadvantage to DTH operators as MSOs are getting the short end of the stick, when it comes to pricing.

The reason being MSO’s have to pay entertainment tax of Rs 25 per subscriber in Delhi, and Rs 45 per subscriber in Mumbai, in addition to service tax. Whereas, for DTH operators, these taxes are worked into the pricing and basic tier pricing of MSO is almost at a 20 percent premium to that of DTH operators.

While the numbers of cable channels are similar to DTH, cable operators can ramp up the bouquet, based on agreements signed with channels. However, some broadcasters are yet to sign deals with the four major MSOs -- Hathway, Den, Digicable and Siticable.

Of the 6.84 million cable subscribers going digitization in phase 1, MSOs have been able to digitize only 4.67 million subscribers, that 68% of the total cable subscribers. Including DTH subscribers in the four Metros digitization has reached 77% of the total subscriber base of 8.26 million. Mumbai has achieved 95 percent digitization, Kolkata 67 percent, Delhi 53 percent and Chennai 49 percent.

-MM
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