As per the revised guidelines, DTH licenses will now be issued for a period of 20 years instead of 10 years
The Union Cabinet on Wednesday has approved a proposal to revise guidelines for obtaining direct-to-home (DTH) broadcasting services in India. The decision will come into effect as and when revised norms are issued by the ministry of information and broadcasting. With this move, the government aims to ensure stability and new investments in the sector along with employment opportunities. “We are grateful to Shri Javadekar for resolving the long standing impasse on the DTH License policy which will provide certainty to the sector. We look forward to a level playing field via parity of Licence Fee with Cable TV which too is Licensed by MIB and follows the same prices and margins as regulated by TRAI’s NTO,” Harit Nagpal, MD and CEO, Tata Sky, told BrandWagon Online.
As per the revised guidelines, DTH licenses will now be issued for a period of 20 years instead of 10 years and may be renewed for 10 years at a time. Further, the guidelines would also allow 100% FDI in the DTH sector.
License fee which has been revised from 10% of gross revenue to 8% of AGR will be collected on quarterly basis instead of annually. The proposed reduction is intended to align the license fee with the regime applicable to the telecom sector and the difference may enable DTH providers to invest in more coverage leading to increased operations and higher growth and thereby enhanced and regular payment of license fee by them. Further, players willing to share DTH platform and transport streams of TV channels on a voluntary basis will be allowed to do so. Distributors of TV channels will be permitted to share common hardware for their subscriber management system (SMS) and conditional access system (CAS) applications. “Sharing of infrastructure by the DTH operators may bring in more efficient use of scarce satellite resources and reduce the costs borne by the consumers,” the government said in a statement.
As for foreign direct investments, the cap of 49% FDl will be aligned with the extant DPIIT (Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade) policy on FDl as amended from time to time. As per the government, adoption of the extant FDI policy will bring in more foreign investment into the country.