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DTH players eye non-cable TV homes
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NEW DELHI: The battleground for direct-to-home (DTH) companies is expected to soon shift to semi-urban and rural India. While players try to woo the urban cable and satellite (C&S) consumers, they have already set their sights on smaller cities, especially the non-C&S television homes. Adding 8-10 lakh new subscribers per month in the past 4-6 months, players believe DTH is not just an urban phenomenon.

For instance, Airtel Digital Television will be tapping its large telecom distribution channel to reach out to tier- II and III cities. “Our initial strategy was to be present in the 250 large cities. Now, we plan to reach out to additional cities and towns. Non-C&S homes and smaller towns will bring in an important chunk of future growth,” said Bharti Airtel DTH CEO Ajai Puri.

While telecom players that expanded into DTH, such as Airtel and Reliance Communications (with Big TV), are banking on their pre-paid and fixed line customers in tier- II and III cities to broaden their base, others are working on low-cost set-top boxes (STBs) and offering tailor-made packages that suit rural consumers’ interest.

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