While Cable TV is struggling to get over the teething problems of implementing mandated digitization drive of the government, DTH operators, who are already digital since long are cashing in on the move by hiking their package rates by 10-15%.
Consumers irritated with the half leaked implementation of digitization on Cable have only option of moving to DTH. DTH operators hope to increase their ARPUs by a minimum of 10% in this manner.
The increase, which is across all packs and regions, including south India - a price-sensitive market - was done soon after the second phase of digitisation started on March 31 covering 38 cities with a population of more than one million.
Dish TV had increased its set-top box prices twice in February and with the increase in monthly subscription fees, it expects average revenue per user (arpu) to touch Rs 180 next fiscal.
DTH operators have not hiked tariffs since last two years. And they argue that it was not possible to sustain the high operating cost involved in DTH services and were forced to pass on some part of the service tax component to subscribers.
Tata Sky, a leading DTH operator, has also increased its base tariff by, at least, 10 per cent without making a formal announcement. Only those who have subscribed to SMS service were informed about the new base price.
However, this hike in tariff without the mandatory notice and approval by TRAI is in violation of the quality of service regulations of TRAI.