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Competitive Strategies Used by Leader, Challenger and Follower in Dth Industry

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Competitive Strategies used by Leader , Challenger and Follower in DTH Industry


Marketing Management

[pic 1]

Group 1

Anurag Brahmi E008

Siddharth Mutyala E033

        Sohan Choudhuri E009

Aditya AR E001

Ishan Katyal E024

Alokedeep Dasgupta E012

Anchal Goyal E016


Industry Analysis

Direct-to-Home (DTH) technology enables direct beaming of broadcast signals to television sets of customers. In India, DTH  Broadcasting Services refer to the distribution of multi-channel TV programmes in Ku band using a satellite system by providing TV signals directly to subscribers' premises.

The  business of distribution of TV channels from the broadcaster to the consumer has two levels –

  • Bulk or wholesale level - wherein the distribution platform operator obtains the TV channels from the broadcasters, and
  • Retail level - where the distribution platform operator relays the content on  channels to end consumers, either directly or through the last mile operator.

Amongst the distribution platform operators, the Direct to Home (DTH) operator and the Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) operator beam TV signals directly to the consumer, whereas the Multi System Operator (MSO) and the Headend in the Sky (HITS) operator generally serve the consumer through its linked Local Cable Operator (LCO).

The advantage over cable & satellite service providers that it gives, rural & remote transmission because of wireless service, technological advances like electronic program guide that it provides makes it an enticing product for consumers.

The television industry in India was monopolized since the launch of Doordarshan in  1959. The industry was popularized only after the onset of foreign channels and domestic channels post 1991 through the cable TV industry. The Department of Telecommunications, GOI first proposed DTH in 1996, but permitted the reception and distribution of DTH broadcasting signals only in 2001.

The entry of players, advancement of technology, reduction in prices, competition getting fierce, consumers benefitting in this fierce competition all have been the key determining factors of this industry

The sector, like telecom sector is governed by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). The competition in the mainstream is mainly between the market leaders Dish TV & Tata Sky. The other key players are Airtel Digital TV, Reliance Big TV, Videocon D2H & Sun Direct Plus playing on a different platter.

All DTH majors bear loss in the industry right now but are trying to  make it good with the help of Value Added Services such as wide bouquet of channels, movies on demand, active services, electronic program guide, language options etc.

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The Nature of DTH Industry in India

As evident, DTH in India is still a nascent market with only 7 players in the industry. The DTH competition is fierce with the competitors leveraging new set of technologies, and thereby adapting constantly to enable betterment of customer experience through various value added offerings.  

However, there is immense potential to grow and the government is also closely involved to promote the industry. It should be noted that it has been a challenge to maintain the revenues, as there is a significant investment constantly made in improving DTH technologies vis-a-vis consumers opting for the close substitutes. With high amount of regularization in the other options such as Internet Protocol TV, and Local Cable Operators, there has been a significant improvement in the quality of offering. Hence the improvement in substitute quality is jeopardizing the advantage possessed by DTH currently.


The below are the market subscription statistics as of June 2014.

S. No





Market Share


Dish TV


Essel Group

15 mn



Tata Sky


Tata Sons

11.5 mn



Sun Direct


Sun TV

10.1 mn



Airtel Digital


Bharti Airtel

8.5 mn



Videocon D2H



6.0  mn



Reliance Digital TV


Reliance ADAG

4.1 mn



DD Direct Plus


Prasar Bharti

1.8 mn


The industry investment is close to $4-5 billion in cash to build infrastructure.  most DTH companies are still deep in the red, with accumulated losses of Rs 9,000 crore and debt of Rs 7,500 crore. DTH has recently played a key role in helping the government to push through a digital addressable system (DAS) . It been implemented in 42 cities as of  the end of 2014, despite stiff resistance from hundreds of thousands of small cable operators.

Under DAS, the government had set deadlines for conversion of analog to digital, which began with the four metros. This would bring transparency for multi-system operators (MSOs) and broadcasters, who'd know how many paying subscribers they actually have. DAS  would check the under-stating of subscriber base done by local cable operators to evade the subscription fee to be shared with broadcasters and MSOs.

DTH is now taking digital cable operators head-on It is admitted that another $3-4 billion will be needed for the next expansion, as well as to upgrade technology in order to be ahead of the rest.



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