Dish TV plans to invest in Sri Lankan subsidiary

Dish TV, India’s largest direct-to-home (DTH) company, is eyeing expansion in neighbourhood countries and is preparing to capitalise its Sri Lanka subsidiary.

Dish TV is planning to invest Rs 700 million in Dish TV Lanka, a joint venture company in which it holds 70 per cent stake while local partner Satnet Private Limited has the other 30 per cent.

Dish TV has got the shareholders’ approval to invest Rs 700 million in the venture. The Sri Lanka operations is, however, not in the immediate agenda as India will take all the attention with digitisation in the four metros of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai nearing deadline.

Dish TV has not created a broadcasting centre or satellite link facility yet. The company, however, plans to enter into the Sri Lanka DTH market at some stage as the ARPUs (average revenue per user) are much higher.

“The DTH market in Sri Lanka is much smaller than India.But while the ARPUs in India are in the range between $3 and $4, in Sri Lanka it is close to $9. Dish TV is attracted by those ARPUs and Sri Lanka is a neighbouring territory,” said an industry source.

Dish TV Lanka was oncorporated on 25 April. The minority partner Satnet has a DTH Licence in Sri Lanka.

Dish TV said its shareholders have approved a “Special resolution under Section 372A of the Companies Act, 1956 to make loans/investments or give guarantee or provide any security to provide up to Rs 700 million in Dish TV Lanka (Private) Limited, over and above the limits prescribed under the said section.”

In Sri Lanka, the DTH market is dominated by Dialog TV, a subsidiary of telecom major Dialog Axiata. Dialog TV has an estimated 200,000 subscribers and its revenue grew 18 per cent to Rs 2.4 billion in the calendar year.

Shares of Dish TV rose 4.68 per cent on the Bombay Stock Exchange to Rs 80.35 at close on Wednesday.

Dish TV will announce its fiscal second-quarter financial results tomorrow. Meanwhile, the shareholders of Dish TV have approved the re-appointment of Jawahar Goel as the managing director of the company for a period of three years effective 6 January. (Indian