The DTH Wannabes

Star TV Had set up ISKyB with a team of 300. When government decided to ban it, it hung on to the team for nearly two years before dismantling it. It laid off some employees, relocated others. But it still has the SMS in place in Delhi; lost its DTH chief recently. Will also be hemmed in by foriegn ownership restrictions. Has a presence in cable TV, broadcasting. Likely to got with earlier DTH partner Pramod Mittal as Indian ally.
Zee TV Likely player.The Zee Network has invested in Canal Plus technology. Has a pay bouquet. But is presently cash strapped. Could face problems as it is in cable TV, broadcasting, and is also owned 70 per cent plus through foreign (read non-resident Indian Subhash Chandra) equity.
Modi Enrtertainment Was a potential player in DTH, having signed with Loral. Has broadband plans and experience with pay TV distribution. Is probably the only player who is not a broadcaster or in cable; is Indian owned and does not have any foriegn equity ownership. Is well-positioned to launch a platform
C. Sivasankaran Had options on Ku-band transponders on ST-I band satellite. Planned to become an education and infotainment player via DTH. Is in the process of launching broadband from November. Likely player. Has no problems of foreign ownership; is also loaded with cash.
Doordarshan Had signed a two year contract with Measat. Lobbied for DD as platform operator. Has recently launched two pay channels. It does not have experience with DTH, with all senior officials including Rathikant Basu, RK Singh, Urmila Gupta, Ashok Mansukhani who were involved with the Measat negotiations having left. Is a likely player.
HFCL Has come out from nowhere to be a force to reckon with in telephony, television, and hardware. Potentially could get into DTH. Also has a partnership with Ozzie media and leisure baron Kerry Packer. Manufactures television hardware.
Reliance Is extremely ambitious about convergence. Has deep pockets. Is setting up a broadband backbone and is looking at investing in television programming. Would like to have other options for bandwidth; hence could go for DTH. Is television neutral as it is not a broadcaster nor in cable TV. Is also Indian owned.

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