Demand for satellite transponders to treble in 5 years
New Delhi, March 7 : Demand for satellite transponders in India required by television broadcasters and DTH operators is expected to increase almost three times in the next five years, a study conducted by advocacy group CASBAA showed.
The study, "Easing India's Capacity Crunch", showed that transponders required by the direct to home (DTH) industry will rise from 73 in 2012 to more than 220 in 2017 to meet burgeoning demands by Indian consumers.
"This rapid growth in transponder demand will be driven by the expected increase of TV channels in India, fuelled by strong growth of the Indian television industry over the next few years," the report said.
The continued proliferation of pay-TV services, coupled with cable digitisation, growth of regional channels and entry of foreign players will provide a fillip to the growth.
Given these driving factors, India can potentially have about 1,600 licensed channels by 2017, of which about 1,300 channels, or 80 percent, are expected to be operational.
According to the study conducted by CASBAA in association with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is working hard to launch new satellites and procure additional spectrum to meet the burgeoning demand.
However, it said the demands would outpace domestic supply of transponders.
"It is unlikely that any single satellite operator will be able to fulfill even current demand, let alone the future demand for satellite capacity," the report said, adding the foreign satellite operators should be encouraged to invest in capacity expansion.
"In spite of the urgent requirements for satellite capacity, there are challenges placing practical restrictions on leasing transponder capacity from foreign satellite operators by Indian players," said John Medeiros, CASBAA's chief policy officer.
"Key hurdles include procedural requirements and delays and short contract durations inducing uncertainty for both Indian players and outside investors," Medeiros said.
The report was released on the occasion of CASBAA India Forum 2013.
"Satellite capacity constraints impede the growth momentum of the Indian TV sector and impact the ecosystem of the industry. The capacity crunch could restrict the launch of local regional channels and special interest channels and could lead to a distortion of competitive balances in multiple ways," said Smita Jha, leader of PwC India's Entertainment and Media practice.