DTH players take on new entrants for satellite space

With the DTH space hotting up, existing players are fighting it out with new entrants to rent and buy up transponder capacity on satellites. This alone determines the number of channels a DTH company can offer. Dish TV appears to have gained the first-mover advantage by buying up 7 additional transponders on ArabSat 4C and Protostar — the two satellites scheduled to be launched on July 4. Other players such as Tata Sky and Videocon are also scouting for transponders. Bharti Airtel and RCOM’s Big TV have booked their transponders too.

Dish TV managing director Jawahar Goel said, “We would double our transponder capacity and would rent about 14 transponders with the launch of two satellites.” He added that it will help the DTH platform to offer about 350 channels from 200 channels that it currently offers. The company would have to invest about Rs 60 crore annually for this transponder capacity space.

According to a source, the extra channels that any DTH company offers would also help garner additional money through carriage fee. Dish TV is learnt to be targeting Rs 100 crore through carriage fee from various television channels. Archrival Tata Sky has about 12 transponders currently. Though Tata Sky MD Vikram Kaushik said that there is no new addition to its transponder capacity, the company is learnt to be looking for ways to increase transponder capacity in the near future to be able to carry larger number of channels.

Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group’s DTH arm, Big TV, is learnt to have booked seven-eight transponders on Malaysian satellite MEASAT-3 and claims it would be able to offer 250 channels using MPEG 4 technology. Similarly, Airtel is believed to have got six transponders and is expected to offer 175 channels.
DTH players take on new entrants for satellite space- Media-Media / Entertainment -News By Industry-News-The Economic Times