Airtel, Dish TV Can Merge To Create World’s Biggest DTH Company; Is This Jio Effect?

If merged, the new entity of Airtel and Dish TV will have 38 million subscribers

Airtel and Dish TV can merge?
Airtel and Dish TV can merge?

Exciting reports are coming in, which tells us about a massive consolidation happening in the competitive DTH industry in India.

Airtel Digital TV, the DTH arm of Airtel and Dish TV can soon merge and create the world’s #1 TV distribution company.

Is this Jio effect?

Airtel + Dish TV?

Right now, in India, Dish TV is #1 player with 23 million subscribers and 37% market share, and Airtel Digital TV is #3 player with 15 million subscribers and 22% market share.

As per reports, the merger initiative has been taken by Airtel’s Sunil Mittal.

An unnamed source said, “The talks are at exploratory stage,”

If Airtel and Dish TV combine, then the new DTH company created will be world’s largest DTH firm with 38 million subscribers, and commanding 60% market share.

Tata Sky is at #2 position with 16 million subscribers. Sun Direct and Independent TV are the only other players in the paid niche, whereas DD Free Dish is free to air TV network.

Last year, Dish TV, which is primarily owned by the Zee Group, successfully completed a merger with Videocon D2h, which created a DTH behemoth worth Rs 17000 crore, and become India’s #1 DTH network beating Tata Sky.

The deal was in progress since 2016, and the new entity of Dish and Videocon churned out revenues of Rs 8000 crore last year.

Both Airtel and Dish TV have refused to comment.

DTH Consolidation: Is This Jio Effect?

Although the new DTH company formed after the merger of Dish and Videocon was valued at Rs 17000 crore, it’s market value has now dropped to Rs 7200 crore, and losses are mounting.

On the other hand, Airtel Digital TV’s revenues have improved, and the company generated revenues of Rs 1000 crore and their 15 million subscribers give them an ARPU of Rs 230, which is one of the highest in the industry.

Meanwhile Jio, which is Airtel’s strongest competitor in the telecom business, is also their arch-rivals in the DTH business.

Jio has already taken control of Hathway Cable & Datacom and DEN Networks, which were India’s two of the largest cable networks, and their soon to be launched Jio Gigafiber is all set to challenge DTH players.

In that sense, a merger between Airtel and Dish TV seems the logical step.

An unnamad source, who leaked this news of this merger between Airtel and Dish TV has said that Jio is the reason for this merger.

He said, “Idea is to consolidate operations and give a strong fight to Reliance Jio. Together, Airtel Digital TV and Dish TV will be a giant.”

Earlier, Airtel had attempted to sell a stake in the company to Tata Sky, whose market worth is pegged between Rs 11,000 to Rs 12,000 crore.

We will keep you posted, as more details emerge.

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