Pay DTH Subscribers in India Grew at Turtle’s Pace in Q1 FY23


The Direct-to-Home (DTH) industry in India has been struggling to grow at the pace it was once growing because of the widespread of the internet and available of low-cost OTT (over-the-top) platforms. There are currently four DTH operators in India, and they have not been getting a lot of new subscribers lately. TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) recently published the quarterly performance indicator report for QE June 2022. The report highlights the super-slow growth of the DTH industry. The slow growth trend is likely going to continue as the demand for OTT platforms rises in the country. As technology improves and mobile networks reach more places, linear TV channels will further get affected in business performance.

Pay DTH Subscribers’ Growth at a Very Slow Rate

According to the report, at the end of June 2022, there were around 67.04 million pay DTH active users, which also included the subscribers of DD Free Dish. Compared to this, there were around 66.92 million pay DTH active users at the end of the March 2022 quarter.

This signifies a growth of just 0.12 million new active users for the DTH operators. This is not good enough growth for a quarter. The DTH operators need to figure out how they can attract more users to their platform and services. One of the key ways to do that is through OTT bundling with linear channel packs, which Tata Play is already doing.

At the end of the June 2022 quarter, there were 879 permitted satellite TV channels, out of which 347 channels were paid TV channels. Out of the 347 pay TV channels, there were 249 SD satellite channels and 98 HD satellite channels. This is one count more for both SD and HD channels in this quarter compared to 248 SD and 97 HD pay TV channels in the previous quarter. Dish TV has also announced a new OTT aggregation service under Watcho branding.