Airtel Digital TV, Dish TV may merge to fight Reliance Jio GigaTV

Airtel Digital TV and Dish TV, two of the country’s biggest DTH operators, are planning to merge to become the world’s largest TV distribution company in the world, to counter the threat from Reliance Jio in the direct-to-home (DTH) TV market. 

Reports, meanwhile, said Bharti Airtel, Singapore Telecommunications and Warburg Pincus have entered into talks to initially buy about 61 per cent stake that Zee founder Subhash Chandra’s family holds in Dish TV. Further, the Airtel-led consortium will make an open offer for 26 per cent more in Dish TV.
As the Sunil Mittal-led telco tries to bolster its digital TV and home broadband play to fight Jio, people familiar with the matter said. 
Reliance Jio, which made a disruptive entry in the telecom services market in late 2016, is all set to enter direct-to-home television (DTH) market in the country through its GigaFiber and GigaTV services.
Reliance Industries’ telecom market entry that drew millions of subscribers from almost all telecom operators in the country, including Aircel, Bharti Airtel, BSNL, Idea, Tata DoCoMo, and Vodafone, has forced the entire Indian telecom industry to consolidate. The Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio has since set its eyes on the broadband internet and DTH services through its GigaFiber and GigaTV services.
A merger of Airtel Digital TV and Dish TV could create the world’s largest TV distribution platform.
Reports said the parties concerned are in exploratory stage and that things may take quite some time before talks can proceed in earnest. 
Airtel Digital TV and Dish TV are among the top three TV distribution platforms in India, that also include Tata Sky. In Airtl Digital TV and Dish TV are to merge into a new entity, they’ll become the world’s largest TV distribution platform. 
Airtel Digital TV currently has 24 per cent market share and is top third in its segment, while Dish TV has the largest market share (37 per cent) with 23.6 million subscribers (after Videocon D2H acquisition). The merged entity could end up having over 38 million subscribers in India, according to reports. 
The merger could place them in a better position to offer live TV through the internet. In India, however, this may take quite some time. 
Airtel TV, Hotstar, and Jio TV currently offer live video streaming from some channels, but they currently do not have the depth and coverage needed to attract consumers.