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TATASKY and SD to hike their stb price
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#1
New Delhi, July 20 Direct-to-home TV service providers have decided to pass on the Customs duty burden on set-top boxes (STBs) to customers. While Dish TV, the market leader, has announced a Rs 100 increase in the price of its boxes, Tata Sky and Sun Direct are expected to follow suit.

A five per cent Customs duty on STBs was announced in the Budget. “The business model of DTH is based on subsidy and the component cost has also gone up considerably due to the rise in the dollar exchange rate in the last one year.

“We have tried to minimise the effect on consumers by absorbing these rising input costs over the year, but the trend is on a constant rise and we have reached a level where absorbing the entire cost internally seems to be a tough proposition,” said Mr Salil Kapoor, COO, Dish TV.

“In view of the unexpected burden due to the levy of Customs duty on STBs, Tata Sky is constrained to pass on the cost to the consumer. The increase will be applicable for the fresh stock cleared for sale to the trade,” said Mr Vikram Kaushik, MD and CEO, Tata Sky. Mr Tony D’Silva, COO, Sun Direct DTH, said the company was also considering a price increase of its STBs.

The cost of the box alone for the service provider, for digital cable and DTH ranges between $24 and $40 (Rs 1,200 and Rs 2,000), including the cost of the smart card.

The Government’s view was that the duty would encourage value addition amongst domestic makers of ‘plain vanilla’ boxes. However, the industry says current domestic makers do not meet their quality and volume requirements that would be needed for 10 million additional annual DTH subscribers.

Videocon, which recently launched its DTH service, however, plans to manufacture STBs for others too. According to Mr Venugopal Dhoot, Chairman, its Aurangabad facility can make 10 million STBs.


According to senior officials in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, domestic STB makers are confident of meeting the demand will be submitting a timeline for capacity expansion.

The Ministry has also asked them for their estimated prices to ensure that they indeed offer an alternative to imported STBs. The Ministry had, in fact, suggested a waiver of the special additional duty (four per cent) and countervailing duty on digital STBs to the Finance Minister prior to the Budget.
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#2
Ohhhh!! bad news for the new subscribers
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#3
100rs hike is AFFORDABLE,
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