I&B ministry clears Space TV bid for DTH licence

NEW DELHI / MUMBAI: A little over a month after the information and broadcasting (I&B) ministry issued a letter of intent (LoI) relating to the DTH licence sought by the Subhash Chandra-promoted ASC Enterprises, Space TV - backed by the Rupert Murdoch-controlled Star India - also had its file cleared.

As the first step towards okaying a DTH venture, the I&B ministry has to issue an LoI to the applicant, subsequent to which other parameters would have to be fulfilled. With the LoI in hand, Space TV can now officially go ahead with the work of putting together a DTH platform.

The LoI directs Space TV to deposit Rs 100 million, after which the other technical clearances would have to be obtained.

Before the final issuance of the DTH licence, it would have to be ensured that Star India's holding in the company is not more than 20 per cent. As per government regulations, total foreign equity cap in a DTH venture in India is 49 per cent. According to industry estimates, a typical DTH venture would need investments worth between $ 400-500 million.

While there has been much speculation over who the Indian partner in Star's DTH project will be, current indications are that it will be the blue-chip Tata Group.

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I&B ministry clears Chandra's bid for DTH licence

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