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Den Networks keen to extend reach in digital cable space
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Bangalore, March 2 Cable distribution company Den Networks believes cable television is headed towards the digital space and there is no reason for viewers to stay with analogue anymore.

The Delhi-based company, which offers both analogue (regular cable minus the set top box) and digital cable television (via the set top box), says it is looking to increase its digital penetration in the market.

Currently, Den reaches out to 10 million homes across Bangalore, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, National Capital Region, Gujarat and Maharashtra. Its digital subscriber base is 3 lakh.

“We would like to double our reach in the next few years. Also, we are looking to increase digital TV penetration significantly — to 3 million in a few years,” says Mr Vikas Bali, President (Digital Initiatives and Convergence Strategies), Den Networks.

The reasons are there to see, he says. Superior picture quality and sound and many more channels than regular cable will compel viewers to move into the digital space, says Mr Bali.

“With people becoming tech savvy and increasingly aware of the digital medium, consumers’ preferences are also changing. There is no reason to remain with analogue,” he says.

analogue base

The analogue subscriber base in the country today is around 88 million, while there are around 2 million digital cable TV subscribers.

Around 2007-end, the digital numbers were only around 5 lakh, says Mr Bali, adding that “in the next few years, the numbers will double every year.”

With many operators around, how does Den hope to differentiate itself in the market? The key lies in providing value-added services, says Mr Bali.

Currently, Den offers viewers games and 10 music stations in various genres, with programming tweaked to suit local preferences; it also provides users with an electronic programme guide that facilitates navigation and interface.

Future plans

In Bangalore and Gurgaon, Den offers Internet services, which it hopes to expand into other markets soon.

Future plans include expansion into movies, education content and information services (for local information like theatres, restaurant, etc).

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