The DTH player is not look­ing to tap eq­uity mar­kets, and in­tends to re­duce its debt

The Economic Times - - Smart -

Mum­bai: In­dia’s first-and-only di­rect-to-home (DTH) com­pany to post net profit, Dish TV, is ex­pect­ing its cap­i­tal ex­pen­di­ture (capex) re­quire­ment to be around ₹ 850 crore in FY17, as it is eye­ing a big share of the re­main­ing 45-50 mil­lion ana­logue TV homes in phase III and IV of the gov­ern­ment-man­dated digi­ti­sa­tion pro g ramme, Dig­i­tal Ad­dress­able Sys­tem (DAS). The com­pany is not look­ing to raise money through eq­uity mar­kets, a top ex­ec­u­tive told ET.

“In FY16, capex was around ₹ 775800 crore. For FY17, re­quire­ment will be ₹ 850 crore. But, we will not raise any money through eq­uity or mar­kets and the debt level will re­main same or go down be­cause of the free cash flow,” said Arun Kapoor, CEO of Dish TV.

Dish TV, which turned prof­itable in the last fis­cal, had turned free cash flow pos­i­tive in FY12. It claims

a net sub­scriber base of 12.9 mil­lion as of FY15. Kapoor, who joined Dish TV as CEO in Novem­ber last year, con­sid­ers phases III and IV of DAS as big op­por­tu­ni­ties. Ac­cord­ing to him, Phase III mo­men­tum was stalled be­cause of the court cases af­ter the sun­set date.

“Phase III started off well and De­cem­ber was good. But then it got stalled. I be­lieve it is just a mat­ter of time and in cou­ple of months the cases will get set­tled,” Kapoor said. “It is also a re­al­ity that while there has been a break in the mo­men­tum, the seed­ing of boxes con­tin­ues.”

The sun­set date for Phase III was De­cem­ber 31, 2015. The same for Phase IV (ru­ral In­dia) is De­cem­ber 31, 2016. As per mar­ket es­ti­mates, to­tal TV homes in phase III are 50 mil­lion, out of which ca­ble and DTH to­gether have al­ready digi­tised 25-30 mil­lion, while DAS IV ar­eas have an­other 25-30 mil­lion ana­logue TV homes.

Sens­ing the op­por­tu­nity, Dish TV in­tro­duced ‘Dish99’ pack across phase III & IV mar­kets in Novem­ber.

Kapoor said that Zing, a low-cost prod­uct from Dish TV specif­i­cally for re­gional mar­kets, is con­tribut­ing 20% of cur­rent ac­qui­si­tions. “Dish 99 is get­ting us close to 30% of new sub­scribers, Zing and HD clients are 20% each, while the re­main­ing 30% are the SD sub­scribers.”

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