We all continue to be excited with the huge opportunity for the cable & broadbandbusiness. With a strong and empowered leadership team DEN is right there in exploitingthis opportunity to maximize shareholder value and we welcome the coming year withDigitization as the focus.
The Indian Economy growth picked up in FY14-15 inflation markedly declined andthe external position was comfortable helped by positive policies and lower global oilprices. With a stable government and pro-growth policy reforms India is expected to driveitself home through more and consistent GDP growth in the subsequent years.
The year 2014 has been a turning point for the media and entertainment industry inIndia many ways. One of the major highlights in 2014 was the announcement of DigitalIndia: A programme to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledgeeconomy by the government. Another trending phenomenon is Internet-Of-Things (IOT)which aims to interconnect household devices like TV ACs Microwaves Fridge Cameras etc.to provide remote access and control. All these are signs of a technical revolution anddevelopment in India which can be achieved only through Digitization.
The rollout of digital cable STBs in Phases I and II cities is now complete and thestage is set for introduction of new age facilities like channel packaging online billpayment HD channels Broadband etc.
With successful completion of Phases I and II the roadmap is clear for Phases III andIV Government support for Digital India provides a conducive environment for timelycompletion of Phases III and IV We are adequately prepared and well capitalized for theopportunity and are consolidating operations setting up business processes and systemsworking on STB procurement and putting logistics in place to handle the huge scale STBroll out.
Broadband is another huge opportunity area. Wired broadband connections in the countryare expected to grow up from 20 million in 2014 to 32 million in 2019. Globally DOCSIS(Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification) is the predominant technology used forcable broadband and has higher speed and lower investment advantage over the DSL (DigitalSubscriber Line) technologies used by telecom operators which require significantly lessinvestment but had speed limitations. We have soft launched our high speed broadbandservices and have crossed 3.3L Homes Passed with ~23000 broadband subscribers.
We also forayed into TV Shopping and Soccer this fiscal year. TV shopping in India isalmost a 4000-5000 crore market. Our TV shopping JV between DEN and Snapdeal bringstremendous synergies because we are able to leverage our reach in distribution and ourcapabilities on the video side to drive the front end activities and Snapdeals brandmerchandising and strong back-end allows state of the art infrastructure. The JV has areach of more than 25m Homes and has started clocking annualised GMV of more than ~120Crores.
On the soccer side DEN through its wholly owned subsidiary acquired Delhi DynamosFC one of the most popular teams of the ISL with a fan base of over 425000 (based onFacebook likes) and over 29000 Twitter followers. The inaugural season of the IndianSuper League (ISL) generated huge audience interest with overall season viewershipreaching 429 million. The ISL also became Asias No.1 League and the worlds No. 4League by stadium attendance attracting an average of 26000+ spectators every match.
I would like to place on record my sincere appreciation to the Board of Directors fortheir guidance. I would also like to express my gratitude to all our stakeholders fortheir continuing faith in DEN.
With best wishes
Chairman Managing Director