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India’s DTH subscribers soar above 44 million

Over 44 million people now subscribe to direct to home (DTH) satellite TV services in India, according to the latest quarterly report from the sector's regulator.

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has announced at the end of December 2011, 44.21 million private subscribers took services from the six private DTH operators in India, namely: Dish TV, Tata Sky, Sun Direct, Airtel Digital TV, Videocon d2h, and Reliance Digital TV.

Digital cable TV subscriptions are on the rise too, particularly in the major metro areas of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai, where mandatory digitisation is required by 1 July 2012, ahead of the national deadline of 31 December 2014.

The total number of set top boxes installed increased to 853,737 in the quarter ended 31 December 2011, compared with 819,960 in the previous quarter, said Trai.

There are now 825 private satellite television channels licensed by India's Information and Broadcasting Ministry – 163 of which are premium channels, paid for by subscribers.

Multi system operators (MSOs) are carrying 277 digital channels at the most, while a maximum of 100 analogue channels are being carried by any one MSO.

The Trai report is based on data received from 25 broadcasters and distributors across India.

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