Small town, rural subscription to outpace cities: Tata Sky

New Delhi, Mar 13: Direct-to-Home operator Tata Sky expects its subscriber base in small towns and rural areas to outnumber the users in cities in the next one year as it tailors recharge packages to suit low-income viewers.

The company, which claims to have over 10 million subscribers in India, currently has around 55 per of its total connections from cities and rest 45 per cent is from outside cities.

Tata Sky

"In the next one year, we will have more customers from outside cities rather than in the cities," Tata Sky CEO Harit Nagpal told PTI. He further added: "Presently, 60 per cent of the new connections is coming from outside cities." The faster growth from outside cities is attributed to the company's initiatives to tailor-made recharge packages for low income groups mostly in small towns and rural areas.

Tata Sky had last year started a daily recharge of Rs 8 targeting these customers who could not watch TV due to power cuts. "They had uncertainty about availability of electricity. So we started a Rs 8 recharge of DTH last year. It is for those customers who want to watch TV when they have electricity.

They have to recharge for that day. They can pay it for one day only," said Nagpal. The company, which is a JV between Tata Group and US-based mass media corporation 21st Century Fox, plans to add more service to its platform such as internet browsing.

"That is work in the progress and it should be coming soon. It's under testing and would be launched soon," Nagpal said. Raising concerns over delay in third phase of cable TV digitisation, he opposed any move to extend it further saying it is "not a good sign" for the industry.

"Last time, when the first extension happened then I stated that I am happy that extension is only for couple of months, which will provide platform to procure the STBs but I hear that couple of states have offered further extensions, that is something I do not understand," he said.

In the Economic Survey, the government had said that it would completely switch off analog TV services by December 31, 2016.


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