Consolidation imminent

The next wave of consolidation in the direct-to-home (DTH) market could be in the offing this year as Jio GigaFiber readies for commercial launch. The last round of consolidation was triggered in 2017, when Dish TV merged with Videocon d2H, and Reliance Big TV was acquired by Delhi-based Veecon Media and Television.

Airtel, along with partner Singtel, is considering buying the promoter stake in Dish TV, which stands at 60 percent, for over Rs 6000 crore. Over 80 percent of the promoter stake in Dish TV is pledged to investors. Even as investor activity in the Dish TV stock grows after the Airtel buzz, talk about Tata Sky scouting for new financial investors has been increasing of late as it strives to build a war chest to take on Jio.

Jio’s fiber broadband network is expected to commercially roll out by the second half of this year. Temasek and Tata Opportunities Fund, who together own 19 percent of Tata Sky, are looking to exit, prompting the latter to seek new investors. Tata Sky is majority-owned (51 percent) by Tata Sons and 30 percent by Walt Disney Co., who last month completed the acquisition of 21st Century Fox, the previous 30 percent owner of Tata Sky.

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