A year after moving to ‘fixed price’, Dish TV crosses 1 crore subs

Dish TV, the direct to home arm of the Zee group, announced it has crossed 1 crore (10 million) customers, becoming the first DTH player to do so in Asia and commanding an almost one-third share of India’s 32 million DTH market.

Most of Dish TV’s growth happened in 2010 after the firm scapped its per-subscriber payment deals with channel owners and opted for a ‘fixed amount’ model with most broadcasters except the Sun group. Under fixed price contract, Dish TV is free to price its service as it sees fit — often at low prices — and add as many new subscribers as it wants; without increasing its payment obligations to channel-owners.

It said subscriber additions this year has been 75% higher than 2009-10, primarily because of a reduction of almost 40% in its subscription rates after it entered the ‘fixed amount’ model in December 2009.

The first has easily cross the 10 million target with more than a month to spare in the current financial year. It will add 3.5 million subscribers this year, and has added around 1 million each quarter. The firm earlier this month ploughed more money into its business, almost doubling its number of channels to 300 by leasing extra bandwidth on a second satellite, the only DTH firm in India to do so.

It also launched a record 30 HD channels, 3-4 times what its competitors offer.

“We now look forward to exit the current fiscal with a stronger subscriber addition and achieve our guided acquisition target while aiming profitability in the months to come,” said R.C Venkateish, CEO, Dish TV India.