DishTV makes debut on the bourses

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Mumbai, Apr 18: India's first Direct to Home (DTH) satellite television service provider Dish TV India Limited (DishTV) was today listed on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) and the premier Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).

For every 100 shares of ZEE, shareholders were given 57.50 shares of Dish TV.

The Company has been listed post the de-merger of the direct consumer business of Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited, earlier known as Zee Telefilms Limited. DishTV India is promoted by the Essel Group, the parent company of the Zee Network.

Regarding the competition faced by Dish TV, Company director Jawahar Goel told UNI, ''We enjoy the early bird advantage. We were the first to foray into the DTH segment. In a short span of time we have on our platform more than 155 national and international channels with registered 1.9 million subscribers, which is growing.'' When asked if Maharashtra Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL)'s recent foray into Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) would make a dent into DishTV's bottomline, Mr Goel ruled out any such possibility.

''Currently, the bandwith available in the country is not upto international standards. In such a scenario, IPTV services do not stand a chance. Besides, MTNL is notorious for it's poor quality of service. Even in the future, Reliance stands a much better chance to succeed in that segment. Even then, the Ambani group will have to first build an infrastucture at astronomical costs,'' he pointed out.

With regard to reduction in the monthly subscription rates, Mr Goel said, ''DTH is a premium service. One has to pay for quality. Currently, we are offering subsidies which will take us another 18 months to break even. We entertain our viewers with 155 television and audio channels offering a superior picture and sound quality.

With the complete Zee bouquet of channels, the One Alliance bouquet and the Star bouquet, we offer a complete range of channels to our subscribers. Besides we also offer exclusive international channels such as Boomerang, TCM, Trace TV. The service is bound to cost something. However, as competition heats up, prices might fall.'' The Chairman of DishTV, Mr Subhash Chandra said, ''With this listing, Zee shareholders can see value unlocking and can now participate in the exciting growth of the DTH business. We are pleased that DishTV has ended the last financial year with a registered subscriber base of 1.9 million and is well poised to cross the 3 million mark in the coming year. DishTV is one of the fastest growing DTH services in the world and we are confident that we would build long-term shareholder value.'' The equity capital of DishTV stands at 428.22 million equity shares of Re 1 each. The BSE ticker symbol of the company is 532839 and DISHTV on NSE.

The company boasts of a vast distribution network of about 30,000 dealers and 350 distributors that span the entire country.

UNI

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