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10 Mar

DD's Freedish steps up its TV game

3 Feb

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8 Jan

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MNC SkyVision to launch IPO in June

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India to have 100m digital TV subscribers in 5 years

28 Feb

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I&B ministry plans financial incentives in digitization effort

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Indian TV mogul hopes to channel US viewers

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28 May

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27 May

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13 May

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India will be global DTH market by 2012

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News Corp sells control of China TV channels

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Big interest in Taiwan cable TV stake sale

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30 June

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MPA Forecasts Healthy Asia DTH Market

20 May

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11 May

Monthly ARPUs of DTH players will climb to Rs 220 by 2014

5 May

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24 April

Indian DTH market to beat US' by 2012

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23 April


23 April

Sun TV, Zee shine among Asia-Pacific pay broadcasters

22 April

Consolidation in DTH market seen in 5 years

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Significant profit ahead for APAC pay-TV

22 April

Asia Digital to double penetration in four years

22 April

India will have 90% pay TV penetration by 2014

22 April

Asia-Pacific to see surge in pay-TV revenues

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Pay-TV in Asia set to double over five years

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India to be world's biggest DTH market by 2012-study

17 March

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16 March

Rant sparks legal threat against India’s CNBC

11 March

Cable companies race for China's television audience

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TV stations battle for India's top spot

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Direct to rural homes

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30 January

Foreigners set sights on Indonesian pay-TV provider

29 January

Investors eye Indonesian pay-TV stake

26 January

TV and telecoms converge in Japan

26 January

TV and telecoms converge in Japan

23 January

Is group on sticky wicket with IPL deal?


January 31 2013

Cable TV industry shows early signs of consolidation
Aminah Sheikh
© 2013 Live Mint & The Wall Street Journal. All rights reserved

Mumbai: India's cable television industry seems headed for a consolidation ahead of a wider digitization roll-out. The most recent sign of this, say industry analysts, is Hathway Cable and Datacom Ltd's decision to gain complete control of its cable television joint venture, in which it had a 51% holding.

Hathway informed BSE on 18 January it had bought the remaining 49% stake in Hathway Bhaskar Multinet Pvt. Ltd from DB Corp Ltd's promoters for an undisclosed sum.

Hathway Bhaskar is a cable TV distributor in cities such as Bhopal, Indore and Jaipur. "This is initial indication of industry players consolidating. Hathway is gearing up to monetize and grow its footprints in the tier 2 and 3 markets, which fall under the phase 2 digitization roll-out," said an executive at Hathway Cable, declining to be identified.

Television viewing in India is shifting from analogue to digital platforms. The Union government has mandated cable TV to be digitized in a phased manner across the country by 31 December 2014. The first phase of digitization of television signals has been implemented in Kolkata, New Delhi and Mumbai, while Chennai is still holding out. The deadline for the second phase of digitization is 31 March.

"The television distribution industry is undergoing the initial signs of on-ground consolidation," said Ashish Pherwani, partner at audit and consulting firm Ernst and Young. "As MSOs (multi-system operators such as Hathway) increase control over their entities, it will result in increased transparency, financial discipline and control, and improved governance."

The size of the Indian cable television distribution sector is estimated to be about Rs.20,000 crore, according to executives in the cable TV industry.

The Indian cable TV industry's total subscription revenue is estimated to grow from $4.2 billion (around Rs.22,386 crore today) in 2011 to $6.4 billion by 2020, with broadband contributing 15% of sales by 2020 versus 85% for pay TV, according to Media Partners Asia Ltd, a Hong Kong-based independent provider of information services.

Drawn by this potential, Subrata Roy-promoted Sahara India entered the cable distribution sector in July last year by buying a majority stake in DigiCable, a cable TV company promoted by Jagjit Singh Kohli.

The DB Corp promoters, though, had been looking for an exit. In 2008, they offloaded their controlling stake in Hathway Bhaskar Multinet to Hathway and became a non-operative partner. "DB Corp wants to focus on its print business, radio and Internet in tier 2 and 3 towns and, therefore, wanted to exit its investment in Hathway," said a person familiar with the matter, declining to be identified.

A DB Corp spokesperson declined comment. Ashok Mansukhani, president of MSO Alliance, a lobby of multi-system operators, and director of IndusInd Media and Communications Ltd, which operates the InCable network, said, "With the advent of digitization, it is the serious players that will consolidate while the ones whose major focus of business is not TV cable operations will exit."

Sahara has filed a defamation case in a Patna court against Mint's editor and some reporters over the newspaper's coverage of the company's disputes with Sebi. Mint is contesting the case.





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