EchoStar, AT&T exploring Indian DTH market

  • Thread starter icar
  • Start date
  • Replies: Replies 0
  • Views: Views 1,315


The Direct-to-Home market, which has four operational players and three more readying for foray, is now attracting international companies.

The Nasdaq-listed EchoStar, which markets its home satellite system under the Dish Network in the US, could partner with an Indian firm to offer a co-branded service, according to sources. The Chairman and CEO of EchoSar and Dish Network, Mr Charles Ergen, reportedly visited Dish TV headquarters on Wednesday. Mr Ergen is believed to be a guest of another DTH licensee, Videocon. When contacted, both the Indian companies denied being in talks with any international player. According to an industry insider, this is a reccee of sorts for EchoStar before it looks to invest in the Indian market.
Meanwhile, global telecom giant AT&T, which is remaking its entry into the Indian markets, is also believed to be surveying the DTH sector. Senior officials from its international business development team were in the country and are believed to have visited New Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai. Interesting, AT&T’s possible interest in acquiring EchoStar, particularly for its home satellite business, made headlines internationally last year.

Home-grown DTH majors Dish TV and Tata Sky are meanwhile beefing up their portfolio of channels with additional transponders in the face on competition. While Tata Sky is likely to be accommodated on one of ISRO’s forthcoming satellites with Ku-band capacity – possibly GSAT-6/ INSAT-4E, Dish TV has plans to double its transponders with an additional 14. This space will be available to Dish when its sister company Agrani’s part-owned satellite, ProtoStar-1, is launched towards end-July.
Tata Sky’s new capacity requirements are not known. According to a senior ISRO official, allocations of any additional capacity is part of the contract and would be made on a satellite close to the operator’s present allocation or in this case at 83 degree East longitude where INSAT-4A is located.

Growing enthusiasm
The enthusiasm for the DTH sector has stumped the satellite space provider ISRO. According to ISRO, the list of players could grow longer.
For operators there is the task of picking and choosing amongst the new channels that are being announced almost every week. On last count there were 100 channels from about 50 companies waiting for licence from the Government. Scrambling for the limited space available, broadcasters are willing to pay carriage fees ranging from Rs 1 crore to upwards of Rs 2.5 crore per year.
The new ventures from Reliance, Bharti Telemedia and Videocon depend on fewer transponders (between 6-8 each) but are said to be using the MPEG 4 compression technology, allowing more channels per transponder and larger bouquets.

Moneycontrol India :: News :: EchoStar, AT&T exploring Indian DTH market :: Dish TV :: Business :: Nasdaq,EchoStar,Dish Network,Dish TV,Videocon,DTH,AT&T,Tata Sky,ProtoStar,INSAT-4A,ISRO,Bharti Telemedia

Similar threads