Government looks set to ease up on DTH restrictions

The winds of DTH they are a blowin? Last week indiantelevision.com had reported that news emanating from Delhi indicated that that Star India had applied for a DTH licence through a company called Space TV.

The fact that Star India was indeed thinking of such an initiative was an indicator that the government may be backtracking on its tough stance on controls to DTH broadcast in India, was the surmise. Now, according to a report in a leading business daily, the government is considering just that. The government is reportedly weighing a proposal to remove the entry fee and bank guarantee totalling Rs 500 million as well as scaling down the 10 per cent revenue share agreement in its Ku band direct-to-home (DTH) television policy.

As per the present guidelines, companies applying for a DTH licence are required to pay an entry fee of Rs 100 million and a bank guarantee of Rs 400 million for 10-year licence period.

The report however, indicates that the government still has to ease up on what is seen as the key stumbling block to DTH take-off in India - the 20 per cent foreign direct investment equity cap in Indian DTH ventures. DTH wannabes are hoping that the FDI bar will be raised at least to 49 per cent and there is an easing up on "other anomalies" in the DTH policy announced last year like cross media restrictions.


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