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Hathway to pump Rs 300 cr in first round of cable digitisation

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Hathway Cable & Datacom said it will invest Rs 300 crore in the first round of digitisation of cable network.

The company will invest in providing subsidy to its subscribers on the set-top-boxes, building back-end infrastructure and marketing activities.

"The first phase of digitisation will cover 20 lakh subscribers of Hathway in Delhi, Mumbai and some part of Kolkata," Hathway Managing Director and CEO K Jayaraman told PTI.

He said while a set-top-box will cost around Rs 1,500, a subsidy of Rs 1,000 would be provided by the company to its subscribers, resulting in an overall cost of around Rs 200 crore.

"Total investment required will be around Rs 300 crore in the first phase, which will be funded through a mix of debt and internal acrual," he said.

Jayaraman further said during the second phase of digitisation, the company will invest Rs 600 crore. Digitisation will help cable companies provide better picture quality and more channels compared to an analog services.

The company had recently launched high definition service in places like Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune, Hyderabad and Delhi.

"In next three months, we might launch in smaller places like Jaipur and Indore," he said.

Hathway currently has 90 lakh subscribers across India.

Expanding its offering in Delhi market, the company launched its Digital Cable TV service in Model Town, Delhi. Last month, Rupert Murdoch-led media conglomerate News Corp had sold its entire 17.3 per cent stake in Hathway Cable & Datacom for about Rs 358.39 crore to two overseas funds.

Commenting on News Corp's exit, Jayaraman said: "News Corp was only a minority shareholder and did not have any say in the strategic decisions of the company. So even after the change in shareholding, the company's operations will continue to be run the same way." 

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