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Subscriber growth while net loss widens for Airtel Digital TV

Indian direct to home (DTH) operator Airtel Digital TV has widened its net loss in the third quarter of the current fiscal year, however its subscriber base grew by 7% on the previous quarter to a total of 7.1 million.

The Bharti Airtel owned DTH operator posted a net loss of INR1.96 billion for the quarter ended 31 December 2011, compared to INR1.2 billion in the preceding quarter and INR 1.8 billion in the comparative quarter of 2010.

Net loss for the first nine months of the current fiscal year reached IRN 5.25 billion, already higher than Airtel Digital TV's total loss of INR 5.18 billion recorded in the fiscal year ended March 2011.

The company's total revenue for the third quarter increased to INR3.33 billion from INR 2.38 in the second quarter. Revenue for the nine months to 31 December 2011 reached INR 9.4 billion.

Ebitda for the third quarter was INR 90 million compared to INR 116 million in the previous quarter, while operating margins narrowed to 2.7% from 3.7% in the second quarter.

An extra 455,000 subscribers were added to the DTH service during the third quarter, increasing Airtel Digital TV's total subscriber base to 7.1 million. India's first direct to home provider Dish TV is currently the market leader in terms of subscriber numbers, with a total base of 9.5 million.

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