March 2020


The proposed deal between Essel group, promoters of Dish TV, and Sunil Mittal’s Bharti Airtel has been called off due to differences over valuation. Dish TV has around 23.94 million subscriber and Bharti Airtel has a 23.39% share of the 69 million subscribers in the direct-to-home (DTH) market.

Bharti Airtel has been looking at expanding its DTH operations in order to take on Reliance Jio’s aggressive strategy to reach homes through fibre-to-the-home and bring in high speed broadband. The acquisition of Dish TV would have positioned Bharti Airtel as the largest player in the DTH market with a market share of over 54.62%.

The promoters of Dish TV are now exploring options with a global financial investor, which has no operations in the country. The cash generated from the deal will be used by Essel group to buy back 5% in flagship company Zee Entertainment Enterprises (ZEEL) over the next 12 months.

The Essel group expects ₹ 2,000 crore from the deal, if it goes through.

The discussions commenced eight months ago, ended over differences with each company’s valuations. As per reports Dish was unhappy with the terms on the table from Airtel. n