Star seeks FIPB nod again to up stake in Tata Sky

MUMBAI: Star India has once again filed for FIPB (Foreign Investment Promotion Board) clearance to up its stake in Tata Sky, after making modifications in its application.

"Star has resubmitted the proposeal to increase its stake in the DTH company," Tata Sky MD and CEO Vikram Kaushik said, while declining to elaborate further.

The modifications could be regarding certain associated rights but has nothing to do with the original stake acquisition proposal.

"Star intends to effectively hike its stake in Tata Sky from 20 per cent to 29.8 per cent. There is no change in that in the fresh application made by Star," a source familiar with the development said.

The amount of Rs 3.24 billion that would flow in as part of the transaction also stays unchanged, the source added.

Star, the Indian subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, had proposed to up its effective stake in February this year. However, the FIPB had deferred the proposal following which the company had withdrawn its application.

As per the plan, Star India will buy a 49 per cent stake in Tata Group’s investment firm TS Investments.TS Investments will, in turn, buy a 20 per cent stake in Tata Sky for Rs 3.24 billion. This will give effectively an additional 9.8 per cent stake to Star India in Tata Sky, increasing News Corp’s total holding in the DTH company to 29.8 per cent.

At present, there is a cap of 20 per cent FDI in the DTH sector, while the ceiling on foreign holding is 49 per cent. However, the government made amendments to the FDI policy last year that stated that investment through companies owned and controlled by Indians would not count in the calculation of foreign investment.

The Tata Group holds 70 per cent in Tata Sky and 10 per cent is with Temasek. If the Star proposal sails through, the Tatas will get diluted to that extent.

Tata Sky, which is incurring losses, requires funding to further ramp up its subscriber base. The DTH company has already pocketed over five million subscribers, but trails behind market leader Dish TV (seven million) and Sun Direct (5.3 million).

Meanwhile, Tata Sky has launched three new features on its premium PVR (personal video recorder) offering, Tata Sky+.

The features include True Video-on-Demand (TVoD) service, dual access remote recording and auto standby technology to save electricity. All three value addition features will be available to existing as well as new subscribers of Tata Sky+.
“We are continuously trying to give more value added services and quality of service to our subscriber. We were working on these initiatives since over a year,” said Kaushik.

Though he did not disclose the amount, Kaushik asserted that a significant investment has been made towards development of this technology.

The TVoD service will help users to sample 45 hours of content, which will be updated on a regular basis, as per their convenience. This will include programmes, movies and documentaries with different genres like travel, comedy, drama and food and drinks.

Unlike other pay-per-view (PPV) and video-on-demand (VoD) services offered by other DTH players, Kaushik said that TVoD will not have any time constraint. The data will be pushed by Tata Sky to the PVR set-top-box (STB) hard disk directly.

“Based on the consumer feedback, the data will be updated,” Kaushik added.

The already downloaded content can be viewed anytime and the service is free for three months. However, Tata Sky is yet to finalise the way to charge for the service. 
“We are not looking at the TVoD service from revenue point of view at this level, at least for one year,” Kaushik added.

Among the other new features, the dual access remote recording service will be available by the end of this month. With this free of cost service, Tata Sky+ subscribers can use their mobile phones or internet to activate their PVR STB and record the programme.

Meanwhile, the auto standby technology will put the Tata Sky+ STB in sleep mode, whenever it is not is use, saving the electricity.

Tata Sky+, available for Rs 5,499, claims over 100,000 subscribers at present. The DTH operator hopes to have 10 per cent of its new subscribers opting for Tata Sky+.

Tata Sky claims to have almost two million subscribers using its value added services. Moreover, quoting internal research data, Kaushik said Tata Sky subscribers spend 180 minutes on TV everyday, out of which 34 minutes are spent on interactive services.

Latest Reads
Livestreaming App SWOO sees momentum in India; Launches Trivia Format in India

SWOO, a leading global livestreaming platform established in Middle East, today announced the launch of its SWOO TRIVIA SHOW – a celebrity hosted live video streaming game show for Indians. SWOO is a user friendly, engaging and feature-rich live broadcasting app available across Android/ iOS/ Web...

Technology Software Applications
TiVo exits STB business

MUMBAI: TiVo is exiting the manufacturing, sales and distribution of set-top boxes to a yet-undisclosed third party, the company has said.

Technology Hardware Set-top Boxes
IET India IoT Panel joins hands with exhibitions india group for the 3rd edition of IoT india congress

IoT India Congress is India’s Platform of Platforms for the Internet of Things conceptualized by IET India IoT Panel, a think tank constituted by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) India. The 3rd edition of IoT India Congress will be hosted in collaboration with India’s leading...

Technology Software Firmware
Tata Elxsi's Automation suite adopted by pan-European Media and Telecommunications Company

Tata Elxsi, a global design and technology services company, announced the licensing of its integrated test automation and monitoring suite ‘FalconEye’ to a pan-European media and telecommunications company for OTT automation and improving streaming performance.

Technology Software Firmware
Verimatrix recognized for contributions to latin american Pay-TV market with PRODU award win at NAB Show

LAS VEGAS: Verimatrix, a specialist in securing and enhancing revenue for network-connected devices and services, has received the PRODU Award for Best Pay-TV Technology Contribution on behalf of its MultiRights™ OTT solution. MultiRights helps service providers effectively navigate the modern OTT...

Technology Software Firmware
Amagi debuts machine-learning powered content-preparation suite

Amagi, a cloud-based technology provider for media processing, has launched Tornado, a machine learning-based content preparation service that enables TV networks and content owners to scale their operations and accelerate broadcast workflows.

Technology Hardware Components
Sharp and TiVo extend interactive program guide deal to power content Discovery across entertainment devices

MUMBAI: TiVo Corporation (NASDAQ: TIVO), a global leader in entertainment technology and audience insights, today announced that Sharp Corporation will further utilize TiVo’s G-Guide HTML across Sharp 4K smart TVs and Ultra HD Blu-ray recorders in Japan, TiVo’s G-Guide xD app and remote schedule...

Technology Hardware Components
HARMAN announces Priyanka Chopra as global brand ambassador

HARMAN International, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. focused on connected technologies for automotive, consumer and enterprise markets, today announced that actress, singer, producer and philanthropist Priyanka Chopra has been named a global brand ambassador for the...

Technology Hardware Components
Etere HSM expands interoperability with Grass Valley

Etere HSM features an integration with Grass Valley that improves interoperability, streamlines connectivity, enables faster content processing and includes deep archive capabilities. Etere introduces a new integration layer between Etere Hierarchical Storage Management (HSM) and Grass Valley...

Technology Hardware Components

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories