DTH

Details of DTH notification

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The Union Cabinet opened up Ku-band direct to home television broadcasting today by issuing a notification (executive order). The notification lays the ground rules for a company wanting to foray into Ku-band DTH broadcasting. The details are slated to follow later in the day. But the gist of the clearance is as follows:

* Entry fee has been put at Rs 100 million. The DTH operator will have to hand over 10 per cent of its revenues as annual fees. A Rs 400 million bank guarantee has also been mandated.

*The limit on foreign direct investment is 20 per cent with non-residents being allowed to hold 49 per cent.

*The licence is for 10 years and it is non-exclusive.

*No broadaster or cable TV company is allowed to own more 20 per cent of the DTH operation. This is to prevent the emergence of a vertically integrated monopoly.

* The DTH offering company will be under Indian management control. Its chief executive will be an Indian citizen.

*The DTH service will have to be uplinked from Indian soil within 12 months of the licence being awarded. The common encryption, and conditional access system, and subscriber management system should be located in the earth station on Indian soil. The system should be based on an open architecture.

*The DTH operator will follow the advertising and programming code drawn up by the information and broadcasting ministry. And it should maintain a record of the advertising and programming for 90 days.

* The DTH operator should not discriminate between various channels wanting to get on the network.

* Government banned channels will not be allowed to be carried.

* Uplink can be to both foreign and Indian satellites. Preferential treatment will be given to uplink to Indian satellites.

* The information & broadcasting ministry will be the licensing authority until one is set up.

*The DTH operator is bound to carry Prasar Bharati channels on most favourable terms offered to any other channels.

* The DTH operator can offer value added services such as fax, voice, or broadband, as long as it gets clearance from the right competent authority.

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