Regulators

Cabinet approves 26 per cent FDI in digital media

Last time when FDI norms in media were relaxed was in November 2015

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MUMBAI: As the cabinet government amended the foreign direct investment (FDI) policy, it has also given the nod to 26 per cent overseas investment in digital media with government approval.

"The extant FDI policy provides for 49 per cent FDI under approval route in up-linking of ''news & current affairs'' TV channels. It has been decided to permit 26 per cent FDI under government route for uploading/streaming of news and current affairs through digital media, on the lines of print media," an official statement said.

While the FDI policy has not touched digital media for a long time, the cap has been introduced along the lines of print media where 26 per cent FDI is allowed through government approval route.

“The scope of the impact will be determined by the wording of the provision in the FDI policy. News and current affairs are present on social media platforms, on digital platforms that are subsidiaries of foreign brands etc. How would you differentiate between TV channels which have 49 per cent and their online streams, which will effectively have 26 per cent?” Eros International group chief marketing officer Manav Sethi commented.

The previous time when FDI norms in media were relaxed was in November 2015 to attract overseas funds. The FDI limit in news channels and private FM radio was raised to 49 per cent,up from 26 per cent, while 100 per cent foreign investment was allowed in entertainment channels.

“FDI in digital media is a welcome development. Clarity around this fast-growing segment of the media industry will act as an enabler for capital infusion. Significant value will be unlocked going forward,” Deloitte partner Jehil Thakkar commented.

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