Indian pay TV market heading for revenue growth

tvSubscriptions in the Indian pay TV services market will grow moderately, while revenue is likely to grow at 19 percent, primarily driven by Direct-to-Home or satellite TV services.

Digital cable will grow in Tier 2 and 3 cities and rural India, despite diluting its footprint in Tier 1 cities.

Dish TV, Tata Sky, Siti Networks, Digicable, Airtel TV, Asianet, GTPL, Hathway, Sun TV Networks, among others, are the main companies in Indian pay TV market.

Digitization, GST and demonetization have impacted the pay TV sector. A social revolution in terms of content consumption, willingness to pay, trend of over-the-top video viewing, and demand for unconventional entertainment will have a significant impact on the growth of the market.

“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.

Vidya Nath, senior director, Digital Media Practice, Frost & Sullivan, said the main challenge for the growth of the India Pay TV services market is low ARPUs, especially in the cable TV segment. Value added services such as HD and broadband will help pay TV operators to increase their ARPUs.

Pay TV companies 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.

The report said digitization in DAS III and IV are the most challenging areas as many local cable operators (LCO) still transmit analog signals and hesitate to switch to digital services in India.