This month, the curtain falls on Analog Cable TV, in India. The entire country is to shift to digital CATV from April. Can this genuinely be achieved? It has taken more than 3 years, to install 70 million Cable TV STBs, to date. Compulsory digitisation in DAS..........
TATA SKY TURNS A PROFIT
Tata Sky has turned around in the fiscal ended 31 March 2016, posting a net profit of Rs. 80.08 crore on a higher revenue base.
Tata Sky - a joint venture between Tata Sons & Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox, had reported a net loss of Rs. 267.27 crore a year ago.
The details were available as press reports only, since Tata Sky is not a listed company, and hence does not have to make its financials public.
AFTER A DECADE
Tata Sky Ltd was incorporated in India on 9 January 2001 to provide DTH broadcasting services to TV viewers across the country. The company commenced its operations on 1 August 2006.
Its operations in the decade has been far from easy. The DTH platform started with MPEG-2 STBs. However, its INSAT satellite developed a power supply failure, and Tata Sky was forced to make do with only 12 Ku band transponders. This forced the platform to migrate its operations to MPEG-4 STBs so that it could increase its channel count despite the transponder handicap.
In FY15, Tata Sky had converted nearly 1.3 million MPEG-2 boxes into MPEG-4.
Tata Sky continued to migrate the MPEG-2 boxes into MPEG-4 in its attempt to offer more channels to its subscribers. All MPEG-2 boxes were replaced by 31 March 2016.
The company claims it closed FY16 with a total offering of more than 500 channels, including 81 HD channels.
Tata Sky's total revenue climbed 20% to Rs. 4,490.96 crore in FY16. Total revenue from operations grew to Rs. 4,471.83 crore from Rs. 3,723.04 crore.
Profit before depreciation, finance costs, tax and prior period items jumped 19.4% to Rs. 1,106.35 crore.
Total expenses increased 20% to Rs. 3,384.61 crore. From 1 April 2015, Tata Sky changed its method of accounting, which has resulted in its 31 March 2016 profit appearing higher by Rs. 121.03 crore.
STILL 3730 CR LOSS
The DTH platform has earned a profit this year, after more than a decade. However, during the past 10 years, TataSky has accumulated huge losses.
It has a net deficit of Rs. 3,649.74 crore as of 31 March 2016. Accumulated loss was at Rs. 3,729.82 crore as of 31 March 2015.
CEO TERM EXTENDED
TataSky has renewed the appointment of Harit Nagpal as its Managing Director & CEO for another 5 years with effect from 1 January 2016.
TataSky trails DishTV, which is India's oldest and largest DTH platform. DishTV was also the first Indian DTH company to turn profitable.
Videocon d2h also is on course to be net positive for the full period this fiscal. In the first three quarters of FY17, Videocon d2h, which is awaiting regulatory approval to merge with DishTV, posted net profit. n