New Delhi : Airtel Digital TV, the direct broadcast satellite service of India’s largest telecom company, has crossed the 1 crore active household subscriber mark after attracting customers in semi-urban areas, a top executive said.
“The 10-million milestone gives us almost 25% market share of active households among all DTH players in India. That’s a good number to have to keep operations on a steady basis,” said Shashi Arora, CEO of Airtel Digital TV/Media.
Most of the growth came from areas with limited reach of cable TV operators, Arora said, adding that its subscriber level in rural India was three times that in urban areas. The unit of Bharti Airtel said it gets 25% of the gross customer additions in the industry every year.
“Our net adds over the last few years has been on an average of 1 million per annum,” Arora said. Digital TV revenue increased 15.8% to Rs 623.4 crore in the three months ended December 2014 from a year earlier. The group’s revenue in that quarter was Rs 23,217 crore, the company said in a release on 4th February.
Launched in October 2008, Airtel Digital TV competes with Dish TV, Tata Sky, Reliance Digital TV, Videocon D2H and Sun Direct in direct-to-home services. India’s DTH pay-TV sector is expected to generate revenue of $4.04 billion by 2018, growing 19% annually, from $1.71 billion in 2013, according to a report by Media Partners Asia.
At the end of December, the number of registered pay DTH subscribers had reached 73 million, of which 32.52 million, or about 45%, were inactive, according to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.