Scatmag.com

May 2017


BUSINESS NEWS


DEN TO INVEST 80 CR

DEN Networks plans to invest around Rs. 80 crore over the next 12 months to expand its digital cable TV and broadband business. The investment will be split: Rs. 50 Crore for Cable TV and the balance for broadband.

DEN has 10.2 million digital CATV subscribers, of which - as on end 2016, it received revenues from 8.2 million.

DEN's active subscriber population in Phases I and II is 3.7 million each & 3.9 million in Phase III. The estimated subscriber base in Phase IV is about half a million. DEN says it will seed an additional 1.5 to 2 million STBs in the DAS Phase IV areas.

DEN's ARPUs are Phase-1: Rs. 125; Phase-2: Rs. 95 and Phase-3: Rs. 64.

DEN's broadband investments will be deployed to expand into 20 towns, at a cost of Rs. 1 Crore to Rs. 1.5 Crore for each town.

Additional investments will also be made in its Delhi Broadband operations.

Broadband ARPU stood at Rs. 752, as of 31 December 2016.


HATHWAY ENABLES MOBIKWIK

Consumers of Hathway Digital cable can now pay via the MobiKwik app

TS Panesar, CEO, Hathway Video Business said, "Partnering with MobiKwik is a step towards staying at parity with DTH providers."

"Apart from enhancing customer experience, this partnership also benefits our entire LCO community considering it reduces the difficulties of cash collections faced by them and ensures real time payments thereby having services activated in real time," he added.

MobiKwik has over 55 million users serviced by over 1.5 million.


DISH TV SHIFTS TO GST

Dish TV claims that 75% of its distributors have migrated to GST.

Its distributors in Himachal Pradesh have not shifted since, the state has not yet adopted GST.

Dish TV has declared that it will not deal with the distributors and channel partners who failed to register under GST.

Dish TV has a network of over 2,272 distributors and 243,740 dealers spanning across 9,431 towns in the country.




ARRIS SUED FOR POOR CABLE MODEM

Carlos Reyna, a California consumer has filed a class action lawsuit against Arris, complaining that its SURFboard SB6190, DOCSIS 3.0 modem had very poor jitter and latency.

Reyna, who purchased the model via Amazon, alleges the device 'contains a serious defect' and that Arris has not announced a recall or 'otherwise offered to repair or replace it.'

Arris declined to comment on the lawsuit, but announced late last year that it was working with Intel on a firmware fix for the SB6190, a D3.0 device that can bond up to 32 downstream channels and 8 upstream channels.


BALAJI: Rs. 400 CR IN OTT

Balaji Telefilms plans launched its OTT venture ALT Balaji on 16 April 2017.

"We are looking to invest Rs. 300-400 crore in ALT Balaji. We should breakeven in 3.5 years when we have 4 million subscribers in India and abroad," Balaji Telefilms Group CEO Sameer Nair told the press.

The ad-free, subscriptionbased platform will initially charge Rs. 30 per month. The key content areas for the platform are original shows, movies, kids and comedy. The first 5 episodes of every show will be available free, to get viewers hooked.



HATHWAY DIGITAL

Hathway Cable & Datacom has completed the transfer of its cable TV business to its wholly owned subsidiary, Hathway Digital Pvt Ltd, as of 31 March 2017. No plan has yet been declared to separately list the new company.

The broadband business will remain in the parent company.

Hathway had infact, initially declared a plan to retain its cable business under the original company name, and then reversed that decision, in a sudden move. This was probably done is today broadband is far more profitable, than the Cable TV business.


IPO BY ALTICE USA

Altice USA plans to raise atleast US$ 100 million via an IPO.

The European telecom conglomerate's U.S. cableoperator arm said it's still determining the number of shares it will offer and the price range for the IPO. Reuters said the company could be looking to raise as much as $2 billion.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the IPO is likely to value Altice USA at more than $20 billion. Its 2016 revenue was $9.15 billion.

Altice USA was formed in 2015, when Altice NV completed its $9.1 billion purchase of a 70% stake of Suddenlink Communications, as well as its $17.7 outright purchase of Cablevision.

Altice USA is the fourth largest USA MSO after Comcast, Charter Communications & privately held Cox Communications.


ZEE MAY BUY 9X MEDIA

Z e e Entertainment Enterprises i s reportedly in talks to buy 9X Media broadcast network. 9X Media operates 6 music channels: 9XM, 9X Jalwa and 9X Bajao all 3 in Hindi as well as 9XO (English), 9X Jhakaas (Marathi) & 9X Tashan (Punjabi). It also operates SpotboyE on the internet, offering Bollywood's news, gossip, movie reviews and other updates.

The price for the sale is the key issue.

Last year, Sony had offered Rs. 220 Crores for 9X Media but during due diligence, some legacy taxation issues emerged, and SPN withdrew its offer.

Hence the current price would probably be below Rs. 220 Crores.

New Silk Route (NSR), owns close to 80% of 9X Media, had invested in the company more than 10 years ago when it was known as INX Media. For New Silk Route, the sale is to enable it to cut its loss in this investment.


FCC EASES PRICING & OWNERSHIP

US regulator, the FCC has liberalised earlier limits on broadcast TV ownership and prices that large telecom companies can charge businesses and governments for bulk broadband services.

Led by FCC's new Chairman Ajit Pai, the FCC is implementing Trump's vision to liberalise the business environment in the USA.

Pai is also expected to soon try to roll back the controversial net neutrality rules for online traffic that were pushed through by former chairman Tom Wheeler, during the Obama government.

Pai said he was "not acting from ideological zeal" but just trying to promote more competition. n