Dish TV India Ltd, Essel Group’s Direct-to-Home (DTH) service provider, is looking to raise Rs 1,100 crore. “It will be a combination of debt and equity. We are in talks with people, including some who have a background and interest in the cable business. We haven’t finalised anything yet,” said Mr Arun K. Kapoor, CEO. The company has already invested about Rs 700 crore in the business.
Dish TV has launched its new campaign with a “huge” investment, the figures it did not disclose. Starring ‘long term’ brand ambassador Shah Rukh Khan, the campaign is hoping that when Conditional Access System, or digital cable is implemented, more people will choose DTH over CAS, and choose Dish TV over other services.
During the January 1, 2007 implementation of CAS in pockets of New Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata, 20 per cent switched over to DTH services offered by Dish TV and Tata Sky, said Mr Kapoor. With the proposed extension of the system to another 55 cities by next year, Mr Kapoor is expecting to win over more subscribers. In his estimate, the 55 cities would account for 30-40 per cent of the 70 million cable homes; Dish TV’s share works out to 2.1- 2.8 million new subscribers.
“We are rolling out the 360 degree campaign across 4,000 towns. This is the first time that we have also brought in the Zee association. So you have the country’s first DTH service provider, India’s largest broadcaster and the country’s biggest star coming together,” said Mr Kapoor declining to comment on the financials of the campaign or the endorsement contract.
The campaign is however not promising any price reductions in the set-top boxes. “In the South, Sun (Networks’ Sun Direct) has already announced it prices. However, we have no plans of reducing the price of our STBs yet. Let’s wait and see what happens?” said Mr Kapoor. Competition, in what is currently a three-player segment (DD Direct, and Tata Sky being the other two), is set to heat up with Bharti Telemedia, Reliance’s Blue Magic and Videocon entry.
Taken from Business Line