BENGALURU: Growth of direct to home (DTH) subscriber base of private players in India was the slowest over the last five years for the nine month period ended 30 September 2018 (TQY 2018, TQY period, three quarters of the year under review) as per Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). The good news was that the quarter ended 30 June 2108 (Jun-18, last or previous quarter) saw a reversal of fortunes. From a loss of about 30,000 (0.003 crore, 0.3 million, 0.3 lakh) subscribers in the quarter ended 31 March 2018 (Mar-18), DTH subscriber growth was positive 18.4 lakh (0.184 crore, 1.84 million) for the quarter ended 30 June 2018 (Jun-18). However, in the case of the quarter ended 30 September 2018 (Sep-18), subscriber growth has once again nose-dived to just 8,000 subscriber additions. As a matter of fact, the industry has faced one of the worst TQY periods – subscriber growth in TQY-18 was just 1,89,000 (0.0189 crore, 0.189 million) as compared to 3,44,000 (0.0344 crore, 0.344 million) in TQY-17 and 5,92,000 (0.0592 crore, 0.592 million) in TQY-16.
The figure below shows a q-o-q growth of DTH subscribers between the period Mar-16 and Sep-18.It may be noted that Mar-16 growth of 25.5 lakh (0.255 crore, 2.55 million) is with respect to Dec-15.

According to TRAI data, the overall private DTH active subscriber base grew by 0.419 crore or 4.19 million (7.8 percent) in calendar year (CY 2017) to 6.756 crore or 67.56 million from 6.256 crore or 62.65 million in CY 2016. Comparatively, in 2016, the overall private DTH active subscriber base grew by 6.67 million or 0.667 crore (11.9 percent) from 55.98 million or 5.598 crore in CY- 2015.
Please refer to the figure below for the DTH subscriber numbers as per TRAI data:

The merger between Dish TV and Videocon d2h that was effective since October 2018 has created the largest DTH services company in India and the second largest globally in terms of number of active subscribers. Please refer to the three figures below for approximate market share of the private DTH players in India in CY 2017, CY 2017 and CY 2018:



It must also be mentioned that the government’s FreeDish DTH service is the largest DTH player by far in terms of subscribers with an estimated 22 million or 2.2 crore subscribers in 2016 as per the KPMG-FICCI Indian Media and Entertainment Industry Report 2017 (KPMG-FICCI M&E Report 2017) titled Media for the Masse: The Future Unfolds. It must however be noted that an exact number for registered or active subscribers is not available since this is a free DTH service. Also, the merger of Videocon d2h with Dish TV will create the largest private television carriage player in India and quite likely the second largest in the world, be it cable, internet television or DTH or any other.



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