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Airtel, Dish TV may Merge To Create World’s Biggest DTH Company to take on Reliance Jio

Airtel, Dish TV may Merge To Create World’s Biggest DTH Company to take on Reliance Jio

After leading the consolidation wave with the merger of Videocon d2h with its operations, Dish TV might again be looking forward in a second deal in the direct-to-home (DTH) space. As per th market reports thier may be possibility that Airtel DTH has shown interest in merging operations with the Essel Group promoted DTH operator.

According to data released by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), Dish TV (including Videocon d2h subscribers) commands a market share of 37 per cent while Airtel Digital TV enjoys a market share of 24 per cent, bringing the combined market share of the two to 61 per cent. This will leave Tata Sky a far second in terms of market share, currently at 27 per cent.

The Indian direct-to-home (DTH) industry currently has five big players. Out of that four paid and one free. At present the strategy to merge Dish and Airtel’s DTH operations which would help the telcom companies to take on the competition it is facing from Reliance Jio. Jio recently took control of two mega cable operators Hathway and Den Networks, giving it a significant and biggest move so far in the TV distribution platform market. With the impending launch of Jio’s GigaFibre, existing distribution platform operators (DPOs) are bracing themselves for a big disruption in the market.

Reliance Jio’s debut in the Indian telecom market in 2016 came as a huge blow for existing players. The entry of Mukesh Ambani-led company led to decline in revenue for major telecom operators and consolidation became the only option left in the industry to compete and survive. Now, consolidation is coming to the DTH segment as well where Reliance Jio has acquired majority stakes in Hathway Cable and Datacom Limited and DEN Networks to roll out its DTH services alongside fibre home broadband service. There are now reports of Bharti Airtel consolidating its position by merging Airtel Digital TV, its DTH business with Dish TV.

Consolidation in the DTH space began in 2017 when Dish TV completed the merger of Videocon d2h with its network. The other players in the market include Tata Sky, Reliance Big TV, Airtel Digital TV, Sun Direct and DD Freedish.

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