The DTH market proposition continues to be attractive given the current structure, the upside opportunity from cable conversion and current niche play of streaming services, says Bharti Airtel CEO Gopal Vittal.
Bharti Airtel’s Digital TV services customer base has stands at 1.78 crore as on December 2020. It has added about 485,000 customers in Direct-to-Home (DTH) television segment and logged a sequential revenue growth of just under five per cent.
Vittal, during an investor call post Q3 results announced by Bharti Airtel last week, pointed out that one of the highlights of this business is its competitive and consistent performance. “We believe, we have outstripped all other players in terms of revenue growth. We also believe that on a like-to-like basis, we are now clearly the number two player in the DTH industry,” he said. “The price structure in India on the linear television side is very, very low when compared to most of the markets. Moreover, the upside opportunity to convert from cable, is high. The price structure is such that it’s a small amount to pay to get channels that you may still want to consume along with streaming services.”
The chief executive acknowledged that streaming services are still a niche industry in India, given that the cost structure of streaming is contingent on more broadband penetration as also payment for the content. He said the DTH segment continues to hold promise in medium term.
Airtel, India’s second-largest telecom operator, logged a net profit of Rs 854 crore for December quarter against Rs 1,035 crore loss a year ago. This is attributed to improved realizations and the strong customer additions. Bharti Airtel posted its highest-ever consolidated quarterly revenue of Rs 26,518 crore in the third quarter of 2020-21, up 24.2 per cent over the year-ago period.
Analysts said robust execution yielded market share gains across businesses for Bharti Airtel in fiscal’s third quarter, as it delivered a solid beat on revenue and profitability with 4G subscriber adds of 12.9 million and plan upgrades by customers driving realizations.