Sun TV Network is expecting its subscription revenue to double to Rs 2000 crore over the next three years due to the growth in direct to home (DTH) subscriber base and digitisation in Tamil Nadu. In FY17, the broadcaster had a subscription revenue of roughly Rs 1000+ crore.

The company expects to benefit from growing penetration of DTH and the digitization of analogue networks in Tamil Nadu, its biggest market. While the company earns substantial revenue from DTH, it expects cable TV segment to start contributing significantly to the subscription revenue aided by digitization.

In a discussion with analysts, the company’s management also said that Sun TV is also exploring Bengali and Marathi markets as part of its plans to expand its footprintoutside South. Expanding outside South has been on the company’s agenda for a long time.

It is also open to launch a second GEC in the Tamil market, which is witnessing heavy competition as both Star and Zee have upped their game and Viacom18’s entry into the market with Colors Tamil.

Sun TV is also working towards having an equal share of sponsored and commissioned programming in the Tamil market.

The broadcaster is also planning to rejig the content slate of its Tamil GEC Sun TV in the next 3-4 months. Currently, Sun TV has 8-9 hours of original programming which starts in the morning and continues all the way till late prime-time.

Sun TV has a virtual monopoly in the Tamil market with 60-65 percent share of the market. It is also the number 1 channel on all India basis with 1 billion+ impressions a week.

The company is also making viewership gains in Kannada and Malayalam market. In Malayalam market, Surya TV has almost doubled its share to 200 GRPs while in the Kannada market the viewership share has jumped to 330 GRPs from 200 GRPs.

Sun TV’s ad and broadcast revenue had grown 7 percent to Rs 353 crore in Q3 from Rs 339 crore a year ago. Subscription revenue from DTH had jumped 14 percent to Rs 184 crore. Digital/Analogue cable TV revenue increased to Rs 94 crore from Rs 82 crore.

Sun TV’s paid subscriber for the period ending 30 September was 14.3 million.

The company’s video on demand (VoD) is witnessing good traction. Sun Nxt will have original content going forward. The company sees Sun NXT as a compelling distribution platform which will help it to capture growth from the OTT space.

The company is also buying digital rights of all the movies it acquires.

It is also looking at interesting programming formats which can be monetized across the network. – Indian DTH