Pay TV services market in India rapidly transforming

Wednesday, January 31st, 2018 
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India’s Pay TV Services Market Headed for Reshuffle on the Back of Consolidation

  • Despite maturity in growth, several opportunities in store for Pay TV Services market including higher adoption of HD content and increasing number of channels

MUMBAI, Maharashtra, India — The Pay TV services market in India has been rapidly transforming as a result of mandates such as digitization, GST, and demonetization having manifold implications on the sector. A social revolution in terms of content consumed, willingness to pay, rising trend of over-the-top video viewing, and demand for unconventional entertainment is shaping the mindset and outlook of the masses. These trends will have a significant impact on the growth of the market.

Frost & Sullivan’s Pay TV Services in India, 2017, finds that while active subscriptions in the total market will grow moderately, revenue is likely to grow at 19%, primarily driven by Direct-to-Home or satellite TV services. Digital cable will continue to grow in Tier 2 and 3 cities and rural India, despite diluting its footprint in Tier 1 cities.

The analysis sheds light on the Pay TV services market in India with an overview of the digital cable TV market, DTH market, IPTV attempts, cable broadband, regulatory policies, technology trends, competitive landscape and growth opportunities. The leading market participants are Dish TV, Tata Sky, Siti Networks, Digicable, Airtel TV, Asianet, GTPL, Hathway, Sun TV Networks, among others.

“TV in India is characterized by an increase in Free-to-Air channels, HD content, digitized households, and changing viewership patterns,” said Aafia Bathool, Research Analyst, Digital Media Practice, Frost & Sullivan. “Although India is a price-sensitive market, consumers will embrace the digitization mandate as they experience multi-dimensional benefits and quality enhancements, and become more tech-friendly and mobile.”

“The primary challenge for the growth of the India Pay TV services market is low ARPUs, especially in the cable TV segment,” adds Vidya S. Nath, Senior Director, Digital Media Practice, Frost & Sullivan. “However value added services such as HD and broadband will likely help Pay TV operators increase their ARPUs over the forecast period.”

The market participants are battling against several factors outside their control, especially growth in online video viewership and the entry of large telecom and technology companies into the media sector such as Reliance, Netflix, Amazon etc.

Consolidation will continue in this market. More the number of companies merging within the landscape, the better their chances to streamline their operations, target a wider viewer base, achieve profitability, and look for strategic growth.

“Digitization in DAS III and IV remain the most challenging areas as many local cable operators (LCO) still transmit analog signals and hesitate to switch to digital services,” observed Bathool. “While consumers are grappling with diverse subscription packages, complex user interface and value-add services, Pay TV operators are confused about the type of value-added services they can offer to help grow their revenues.”

To gain competitive advantage, Pay TV operators should capitalize on a vast dislodged consumer base by offering concessional packages and installment-based payment mechanisms to ensure they subscribe to legitimate services.

Pay TV Services in India is part of Frost & Sullivan’s Digital Media Growth Partnership Service program.

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