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Help Rural India's swift digital TV embrace
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Digital TV penetration in rural India is three-fold higher than in urban areas, says a report compiled by the Indian Readership Survey (IRS) on the pay TV sector.

Though nearly 80 per cent of households in urban areas have television sets, more than double the 38 per cent in rural areas, the adoption of technology has been much faster in the latter. Digital TV penetration is 34 per cent in rural areas and 11.9 per cent in urban India.

There were 19.4 million digital TV households as on April, of which 13.8 million were in rural areas as compared to 5.6 mn in urban areas. The findings are on the basis on a survey conducted across 250,910 households between January 2008 and April 2010.

Nearly 90 per cent of the digital pay TV market was dominated by Direct-to-Home (DTH) service providers. The rest were being catered to by digital cable operators.

IRS data shows DTH penetration in rural areas remained as high as 96 per cent between January 2009 and April 2010, as compared to 68 per cent in urban belts. The adoption of the technology has been across sectors and income groups.

Dish TV (six-million subscriber base), with 50 per cent share in the paid DTH market, is the dominant player, followed by Tata Sky (2.2 mn) and Sun Direct (2.3 mn). With DTH companies competing aggressively to gain a larger share of the pie in what is set to become the largest DTH market in the world by early 2011, a slew of price cuts have been announced. Set top boxes (STBs) are now available for less than '1,000 (the amount includes installation charges), spurring rapid growth.

Full Story: Indian DTH Blog

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