Dish TV India Limited reported its third quarter fiscal 2022 results. For the quarter ended December 31, 2021, it stated a drop of 13.3% in the subscription revenue of Rs. 6,459 million from Rs. 7449 million compared to the corresponding quarter last year and 12.9% drop in operating revenue of Rs. 7,107 million from 8157 million last year. EBITDA for the quarter was Rs. 4,260 million and Profit after tax was Rs. 802 million.
The company said that the focus on gaining incremental market share helped the Company ramp up gross acquisitions to almost the pre-pandemic level, though continued dependence exclusively on internal funds restricted the ability of the business to go all out thus keeping net additions under pressure.
Consumers typically tend to step up spending during festivals with the season traditionally accounting for majority of the annual revenues of businesses. Expecting a similar trend and considering the earlier subdued demand due to repeated waves of the pandemic, Diwali 2021 witnessed aggressive marketing by consumer focused companies. While higher marketing spends did help generate incremental acquisitions, consumer spending went below par once the pent-up demand was exhausted. Early cases of the third wave of the pandemic in mid-December too had a negative effect on consumption.
Dish TV India took a price hike of around 25% on both its standard definition and high definition hardware during the quarter. With rural stress and inflationary pressures, price sensitive customers at the bottom of the pyramid remained vulnerable to churn to the Free DTH platform. Streaming platforms as well as content bundling by telecom players continued to give competition to the DTH service providers.
The Company maintained a cautious approach towards expense management thus achieving overall operating efficiencies which helped an 8.7% year-on-year reduction in total expenses. It paid off debt of Rs. 1,031 million during the quarter with the resultant interest expense coming down by 57.9% on a year-on-year basis. It had a closing debt of Rs. 4,535 million at the end of the quarter.
‘Watcho’, the in-house OTT app of Dish TV India continued to strengthen its presence in the OTT space. During the quarter, ‘Watcho’ partnered with Asia’s largest content festival – India Film Project (IFP) for its 11th season to encourage emerging artists and content creators to showcase their work.
The association allowed participants to submit their original content on Watcho’s creator platform called ‘Watcho SWAG’ and subsequently view their entries on the App itself. This festive season Watcho’s slate of original series continued to expand with the release of a new family series, ‘Papa Ka Scooter’ and a nail-biting crime series, ‘Jaunpur.’
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), on stakeholders request, recently extended the deadline for enforcing the New Tariff Order (NTO) 2.0 to June 1, 2022 from the earlier fixed deadline of April 1, 2022. Broadcasters had earlier approached the Supreme Court challenging the Bombay High Court order in favour of the NTO 2.0. The Supreme Court is yet to announce its decision.
Dish TV India Limited’s Group CEO, Anil Dua, said, “As a category, DTH has been facing competition at various levels however the platform has its unique strengths that will continue to set it apart from other video platforms. We remain committed to offering the best solution to our subscribers, be it in the linear or OTT space and hope to change the game with innovative offerings and winning partnerships.”
Jawahar Goel, CMD, Dish TV India Limited, said, “The DTH industry has been working on the implementation of the New Tariff Order keeping in mind the earlier deadline however the extended timeline will give us even more time to sort out any migration issues. We would also be watching the developments on the litigation front while simultaneously working towards implementation of the order.”