“Our core business is providing content”: Sukhpreet Singh

“Our core business is providing content”: Sukhpreet Singh

Dish TV and D2H subscribers can access OTT apps alongside their TV subscription pack.

Sukhpreet Singh

Mumbai: Dish TV is transforming the entertainment landscape in India with the introduction of its innovative offering, 'Dish TV Smart+'. As a pioneering move in the industry, this initiative redefines the way customers experience entertainment by providing seamless access to both TV and OTT content across all screens, without any additional charges.

With 'Dish TV Smart+', both new and existing subscribers of Dish TV and D2H can enjoy a plethora of popular OTT apps alongside their chosen TV subscription pack. This comprehensive service ecosystem ensures that entertainment is available anytime, anywhere, on any screen, be it through the Watcho OTT Super App, smart devices such as set-top boxes, or Android STBs. Moreover, Dish TV is forging partnerships with leading TV and Mobile Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to seamlessly integrate their services into these devices, thereby enhancing the overall user experience.

Not long ago, there was apprehension among TV channels, DTH, and Cable TV operators regarding the rapid rise of OTT entertainment in India. However, the landscape has evolved significantly since then. Today, TV networks have adapted by launching their own OTT platforms, while DTH operators have shifted their approach to become aggregators of content.

Indiantelevision.com on the sideline of the launch, caught up with Dish TV & Watcho corporate head of marketing Sukhpreet Singh. During the interview, Singh discussed the rationale behind the launch of their new initiative and shed light on the challenges encountered within the pay TV ecosystem and the DTH industry.

Edited excerpts

On the need of launching Dish TV Smart+

The need is the fact that we are in the content distribution. We don't differentiate between where the content is coming from Customers watch content in linear platforms as well as OTT. Our job was to bring all that together in a way which is a good experience and affordable for the customers.

On the features that differentiate Dish TV Smart + from other Dish TV offerings

First thing is we are the only DTH at a price of 200+ both that provides DTH and OTT. Secondly, we are the only one who's providing a complete ecosystem of DTH plus OTT packs along with devices and OTT apps. I think we are the only one that is able to provide any screen, anywhere and anytime at that price point.

On Dish TV Smart + integrating traditional satellite TV with online streaming services

All the traditional satellite channels are available on hardboxes. If you look at it, we have our traditional boxes, connected boxes and our OTT app which doesn't need a box. In that app, we have live TV, OTT content from various OTT apps. So if you take all of them together, whatever customer you are, whatever devices you have, we will be able to provide you with content.

On Dobhal showcasing pay TV + smart TV to be increased by 183 million by 2030 during the presentation and the challenges faced in pure pay TV ecosystem

What was shown in the presentation was pay TV + smart TV. There is going to be a lot of hybrid consumption, that is what we are trying to tell. If you only look at the pure pay TV, they might not grow. If you take pay TV, smart TV and all the hybrid consumption, that will work. What we are seeing is people are watching a lot of content, even if it's streaming content, they are watching it a lot on television. Consumption on television is not decreasing, that is what we described. That increase is basically pay TV and smart TV. People are gonna watch a lot more content on television and like I said, it is very narrow to describe yourself as the only satellite and DTH provider. Most of the major broadcasters are providing traditional linear services also and streaming & OTT services. Most of the major OTT apps come from the broadcasters. They are also trying to innovate. It brings me back to the point that it doesn't matter where the content is coming from and there are all types of customers. Even in a single family, there are people watching television, there are people watching OTT only on their mobile, there are people watching OTT on smart TVs. Our job is to provide content for the modern Indian family.

On TRAI’s Performance Indicator Report highlighting the decline of the active subscriber base for pay DTH by 2.06 per cent from 66.62 million in December 2022 to 65.25 million in March 2023

Yes! The numbers which you can see in the TRAI reports, they are all in sync. We all know that if we are talking about only traditional ways of watching content then obviously it will come down. But we have to look at our business which is providing content whether it is traditional or new, doesn't matter. Every traditional thing changes into new. Our core business is providing content. If the traditional way is coming down, then the new way will go up. If we are focused only on the traditional way, we will also go down.

On the future of content consumption in India

The way we see it from the business perspective, the number of hours that people spend while watching content is exploding. People have so much content to watch that they get confused. Right from niche content to blockbuster ones, everything is available along with many languages. Now you have such high quality content in regional languages. Even if you take a very niche language, then you will find a lot of beautiful content available, thanks to OTT platforms that are making it possible. So it's a great time for content, it's a great time for consuming content for all kinds of screens and our job is to make it possible.