Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Cable & Satellite Industry - Digitization sunset date for Phase I

As the digitisation deadline of June 30, 2012 for Phase I approaches, differences exist among the various parties involved in extending or persisting with the same deadline.

Broadcasters have been lobbying the government to stick to the existing deadline, some of the MSOs (barring the large ones like Hathway Cable and Den Networks) and LCOs have asked for an extension of two or three months as they are finding it hard to seed set top boxes in all their households due to late announcement of the revenue share model by Trai, unavailability of set top boxes and lack of consumer awareness.

MSO's problems could be a blessing for DTH operators who are gearing up to speed up their subscriber addition. However, Hathway is best placed among MSOs, having already seeded 40% or ~1 million of its ~2.3 million subscribers in the metros and having an inventory of ~ 0.7 million STBs.

Expect at least a three month delay in implementation of digitisation even if the deadline is not extended. The final call will be taken by the ministry of Information & Broadcasting on June 25, 2012.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Hathway Cable - Leader of Digital Revolution

Hathway Cable & Datacom (Hathway) is well equipped for the impending June 30 deadline for Phase 1 of digitisation. As per Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) data, only ~24% (2.9mn) set top boxes have been seeded, out of the total 12.3mn required. Out of these, Hathway alone has seeded 0.9mn boxes (40% penetration of its universe) and is the best prepared MSO. Even though the government, as of now, remains firm on meeting the Phase 1 deadline, we expect a ~3-6 months’ delay.

Hathway Vs WWIL
Hathway leads MSOs considerably in terms of preparedness for Phase 1. Its digital penetration stands at 29% in Delhi, 58% in Mumbai and 28% in Kolkata. DEN’s total digital penetration stands at 21.5% of its universe with 26% in Delhi, 22% in Mumbai and 7.5% in Kolkata. WWIL has achieved total digital penetration of 17% with 11.7% in Delhi, 9.6% in Mumbai and 23% in Kolkata. IMCL has achieved total digital penetration of 26%, with 10% in Delhi and 37% in Mumbai.

The operator will now showcase 20 HD channels at an attractive annual price of INR6,666, including the price of set top box. Initially, the 20 will be available in Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, Hyderabad and Bengaluru only.