March 2020


The satellite and cable industry has witnessed some dramatic moments in the last one month. The major development bound to disrupt the industry is the Supreme Court’s decision to reject a plea by mobile carriers for extension in the payment schedule and asking all of them to deposit an estimated ₹ 1.47 lakh crore in past dues for spectrum and licences. It threatened to initiate contempt proceedings against top executives of these firms for non-payment. Unless the Govt comes up with an action plan to help the telcos tide over this crisis, this could have ramifications across the industry.

Reliance Industries’ consolidation of its media and distribution businesses spread across multiple entities into Network18 has been a major development. Network18 will be an integrated media and distribution company with a revenue of ₹8,000 crore. It will be net-debt free at consolidated level. The consolidation of cable businesses of Den and Hathway in one entity will leverage the combined strength of the 27,000 LCO.

The Airtel – Dish TV merger deal being called off has come as a major blow to Dish TV. If the deal had gone through it would have created an entity which would be the largest DTH player in India and with a market share of over 54.62% and overtaken Tata Sky.

Meanwhile the OTT segment is continuing to record impressive growth and seeing a major investment spree by the OTT biggies like Netflix & Amazon. India is all set to become the 8th biggest OTT market player in the world. The Indian OTT market is poised to grow from US$ 625 million in 2018 to US$ 1.6 billion in 2023. Disney + is going to be launched in India by end of March.