DTH

For its DTH venture, Star zeroes down on Tata

NEW DELHI: Having managed to sew up a suitable deal and partner for Star News, the Rupert Murdoch's pan-Asian media venture Star Group Ltd has now focussed on its Ku-band direct-to-home (DTH) television venture in India - and according to information available, the Indian partner would comprise the Tata Group.

The deal is expected to be formally inked soon, though most of the background work necessary for such a big joint venture is understood to have been completed, including a due diligence of the proposed project by the Tatas through Ernst & Young.

The Indian DTH project has been estimated to cost between $250-$300 million and would be modelled on Murdoch's BSkyB in the UK, a highly successful pay-per-view platform. The Tatas initially would hold 80 per cent equity stake, while the rest would be held through an entity that may have investments from News Corp's other companies too, apart from Star.

Later, the majority stakeholder may dilute some of its stake to accommodate foreign financial institutions (FIIs).

As per current guidelines, Star cannot hold more than 20 per cent stake in a DTH venture where the total foreign investment, including FIIs/NRIs/OCBs, has been capped at 49 per cent by our government.

The DTH venture would be a 100-channel platform to start off with and the one-time cost that a consumer would incur on the hardware, including the dish antennae, would be in the region of Rs 5,000. The monthly subscription fee, according to projections, is being attempted to be kept low between Rs 400 and Rs 500. The initial subscriber target is one million.

Interestingly, the government has confirmed the development. A government official today said that it has been conveyed to them that Star is interested in restructuring its proposed DTH venture. "It has been conveyed to us unofficially, though, that the majority Indian partner for the DTH venture would be the Tatas," the official added.

Earlier, Space TV had applied for a DTH licence wherein the shareholders and board of directors were employees of Star India. Though the government had raised several questions on the structuring of the DTH company, the information and broadcasting ministry had given a conditional letter of invitation to Space TV to comply with other formalities, earlier this year.

This move of the government has been criticised in and outside the Parliament too.

However, when indiantelevision.com contacted Star India this evening on the proposed DTH venture, the company refused to make any comments. "We are not in a position to say anything at this moment," said Star India's Jagdish 

Kumar, tipped to be the chief operating officer (COO) for the joint venture DTH company. He is incharge of the DTH division in India, apart from being a director on the Space TV board.

When indiantelevision.com spoke to the Tata Groups' corporate communications agency Vaishnavi, the response was that, "The Group did not wish to comment on this matter."

Considering that a Subhash Chandra company, ASC Enterprises, has already signed the formal DTH licence agreement with the government and is set to launch its services from the first week of October, Murdoch and his 

companies cannot afford to sit idle.

The Tatas, who also control India's long distance telecom carrier Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd (VSNL), are slated to pick up 80 per cent stake in the joint venture that may be renamed to facilitate carrying the Tata brand name.

As per a presentation made to our government, the debt-equity ratio of the DTH venture is likely to be 1:1, which may change a little when the project actually gets off the ground. The paid-up capital of the DTH joint venture would be approximately Rs 8 billion.

As and when Murdoch manages to get the Tatas on board for the DTH venture, he would have effectively silenced many a critic, especially those in the Indian media companies.

The Tata Group is conglomerate with business interests spread across a variety of segments, including automobiles, information technology, hospitality industry and telecom.

Latest Reads

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/08/17/goel_0.jpg?itok=XZM7Jo9W
Dish TV India reports muted numbers for first quarter

The Essel Group’s television direct to home (DTH) Dish TV India Limited (Dish TV) reported 5 per cent and 5.1 per cent declines in subscription and operation revenue for the quarter ended 30 June 2017 (Q1-18, current quarter) as compared to the corresponding year ago quarter (Q1-17). Dish TV says...

DTH DTH Operator
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/08/16/Sukhpreet_Singh.jpg?itok=h6bBOxMZ
Television viewership stable despite VoDs, says DISH TV exec

MUMBAI: People's interest in television was intact although use of cell phones in India has increased considerably in India. After increase in internet speed, people in India had started watching videos on mobile phones. However, despite VoD services proliferating in the country, viewers preferred...

DTH DTH Services
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/08/04/rajyavardhan%20rathore.jpg?itok=06dFFaIX
Rs 200 mn allocated for free DTH in border areas

NEW DELHI: An allocation of Rs 200 million has been made for setting up direct-to-home receiver sets of Doordarshan’s FreeDish in tribal, remote and border areas, the Parliament has been told. Minister of state for information and broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathre said 30,000 DTH receiver sets...

DTH DTH Services
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/08/01/Mahendra%20Nath%20Pandey_0.jpg?itok=KzA1GGdi
Educational DTH channels to remain free-to-air, says minister

NEW DELHI: Swayam Prabha, the 32 educational direct-to-home educational TV channels launched early in July, are free to air and will transmit high-quality educational content on 24X7 basis direct to every home, the Parliament has been told. (At a National Convention on Digital Initiatives for...

DTH DTH Operator
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/07/31/dishtv%26videocond2h.jpg?itok=pqlBfvY4
Profit returns to Videocon d2h, court approves Dish TV merger scheme

BENGALURU: After three consecutive profitable quarters in fiscal 2017 (year ended 31 March 2017, FY-17), Indian direct to home Saurabh Dhoot led major Videocon d2h Limited had reported a net loss of Rs 87 million for the last quarter of last fiscal (Q4-17). The company has returned back to the...

DTH DTH Operator
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/07/28/dishtv%26videocond2h.jpg?itok=1fKq68MP
Dish TV--D2H merger gets NCLT approval

MUMBAI: Dish TV India has announced that the Mumbai bench of National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has approved the scheme of arrangement for merger between Videocon D2h Limited and Dish TV India.

DTH DTH Operator
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/07/26/airtel.jpg?itok=L_dBf3it
Airtel Digital TV sub base expands, even as ARPUs dip

Q1 2018 ended 30 June 2017 has been a bit of a mixed bag for the Sunil Mittal headed Bharati Airtel’s DTH biz – Airtel Digital TV. Its subscriber base expanded by nine per cent to 13.3 million as compared to 12.14 million in Q1 FY 2017 ended 30 June 2016. Net customer additions were hence around...

DTH DTH Operator
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/07/10/DTH.jpg?itok=psLHYF3U
32 free DTH educational channels on Dish TV & FreeDish start functioning

NEW DELHI: Thirty-two direct-to-home educational channels under the name Swayam Prabha were formally launched during the weekend to telecast high-quality educational content free of charge.

DTH DTH Services
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/07/07/DD-Free-Dish-Story.jpg?itok=inUInBIn
FreeDish a key driver in FTA channels' growth by '20

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) numbers for the six private players in the DTH industry show a very poor growth rate of just 0.96 million and 5.8 million during the quarter and year ended 31 March 2017 (Q4-17, FY-17) respectively. This figure is far lower – less than one-third of the...

DTH DTH Operator

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories