Zee group direct-to-home (DTH) service arm Dish TV expects to complete the merger with Videocon Group’s DTH arm Videocon d2h by October this year after receiving necessary regulatory approvals.

The merged entity would have a subscriber base of 27.2 million, creating the largest DTH service provider in the industry.

“We have to receive approvals from regulatory bodies like the Competition Commission of India, National Company Law Tribunal and stock exchanges. The merger is expected to be completed by October this year after getting clearances,” Dish TV CEO Arun Kapoor told PTI.

Dish TV has an active subscriber base of 15.5 million, while that of Videocon d2h stands at around 12.2 million. The DTH industry has around 62 million active subscribers.

The merged entity will be renamed as Dish TV Videocon Ltd. The total revenue of Dish TV and Videocon d2h was Rs. 5,915.8 crore on a pro-forma basis for the fiscal ended March 31, 2016.

At present, out of Dish TV’s 15.5 million subscriber base, around 35 per cent are from top 100 cities and the rest 65 per cent are from small towns and rural markets.

“We are expecting that 70 per cent of the new connections for the next two years would come from those living in small towns and rural markets,” he said adding that “it would be primarily because of implementation of Digital Addressable System (DAS) in Phase III and IV“.

Besides, Dish TV is expecting the Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) of the DTH industry to grow over two-fold in the next five years to Rs. 450-500.

“ARPU would increase to Rs. 450-500 in next five years from the current industry average of Rs. 150-160. This would be primarily driven by growth in number of HD channels, Value Added Services on DTH platform and implementation of DAS,” Kapoor added.

According to him, the DTH industry, which has players such as TataSky, Sun Direct, Airtel digital TV, Reliance Digital, has a current growth rate of 10 to 12 per cent. – The Hindu Business Line