Reliance Communications’ Reliance Digital is arguably the weakest candidate among the five private companies that compete in India’s DTH space.
The DTH business is dominated Dish TV, Tata Sky, Videocon, Airtel Digital and Sun Direct, while Doordarshan’s Free Dish caters to the free DTH market.
RCom’s DTH service has around 5 mln subscribers and an estimated 6% market share.
A sale of Reliance Digital has been rumored about for years, and the Anil Ambani group has not been spending much on promoting the venture over the past several years, unlike its competitors.
The user, @realraghv, who tweeted the suggestion and the photos seems to be basing his assumption on the similarly in the brand logo. While Reliance Digital TV has 4K Tech written in a particular style, the new Chois HD dish also has the words 4K Tech written in the exact same style.
It is also possible that Chois HD may be an entirely new player who is coming to the market, or a sub-brand of any of the existing players including Reliance. Dish TV, for example, has a sub-brand called Zing, aimed at lower-income customers.
The name Reliance Digital has been causing some confusion recently because of the rising prominence of an electronics retail chain by the same name started by Mukesh Ambani, the elder brother of Anil Ambani.
The renaming of the DTH venture to Chois, if it materializes, would suggest that the two groups are trying to avoid a confusion in the name and branding.
Secondly, and more importantly, the rebranding suggests that the Anil group is now gearing up to make more investments into the venture, either by itself or in conjunction with a new partner.
The DTH business offers synergies with JioTV, an app-based TV broadcasting venture operated by the Mukesh Ambani group. However, for now, there are not clues as to whether any synergy between the two will be explored or not.
The Anil Ambani group’s telecom operations have “practically merged” (in the words of its chairman) with Reliance Jio, the telecom venture of the elder brother. The two companies share spectrum, radio infrastructure, passive intrastructure and fiber.