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TN is focus market for DTH players - Sathish - 05-30-2011

Chennai, May 29:

How come so early today….lean day?

“Lean day? No way,” he said adding, “actually I am travelling…. travelling like crazy these days…Came from Coimbatore just this morning, and have to catch my evening flight to Madurai,” he said. He is going there for a dealers' meet in the region, “and also to explore possibilities of expanding dealership network there”.

Tamil Nadu is now Reliance Digital's focus market as the State has almost close to 100 per cent TV penetration and hence big scope for growth.

The company has been beefing up its distribution and retail networks across the State.

Overall, the cable and satellite industry has altered the dynamics of the market very significantly in the last few years. And, more so in Tamil Nadu. So, not just for Reliance, the State is now a focus market for all the six DTH service providers – Dish TV, Tata Sky, Sun Direct, Reliance Digital, AirTel Digital and Videocon's d2h. While average TV penetration in India is about 60 per cent, thanks to the previous Government's ‘free TV' scheme for all ration card holders in the State – irrespective of income levels, almost all households (there are close to 1.6 crore households in the State), Tamil Nadu boasts over 90 per cent TV penetration with sizeable number of 2-TV homes in urban towns.

The State still has a lot of far-flung, cable-dark areas, offering better chances for DTH players. “Till a few years ago, it used to be a tough task for us to sell one DTH connection a day in a tier III or even tier III cities, as we had to educate consumers and convert them. Today, even people in rural areas are surprisingly well aware of the technology,” says Mr Kanthan.

Market share

According to industry sources, of the overall 150 million TV homes, more than 100-110 million homes come under the C&S (Cable and Satellite) category. With around 32 million subscribers, the DTH industry commands a little over 30 per cent of this market. Tamil Nadu, with almost 35 per cent (of C&S homes) DTH penetration, “is well ahead of the rest of the country,” he said.