The Government of lndia has notified the guidelines for obtaining License for providing Direct-To-Home (DTH) Broadcasting Services in lndia on Friday. As per the notice, operational guidelines have been issued in respect to license fee, platform service channels and sharing of infrastructure by DTH operators. The ministry stated that these provisions along with those contained in the said amendment will supersede the guidelines issued on March 15, 2001 and amended upto January 1, 2007 to the extent these change the relevant provisions of those guidelines and additions proposed hereinafter shall be read accordingly.
The ministry said that the licensee shall pay an annual fee equivalent to eight percent of its adjusted gross revenue, calculated by excluding goods and services tax (GST) from gross revenue as reflected in the audited accounts of the company for that particular financial year. Furthermore, the notice stated that the minimum annual license fee shall be subject to 10% of the entry fee. The license fee is to be paid on a quarterly basis, the quantum thereof to be equal to the actual license fee payable for the preceding quarter. The first payment of license fee for the previous quarter shall be made on the basis of provisional account for the quarter within one month of the end of a particular quarter and the annual settlement of the license fee shall be done at the end of the financial year. Meanwhile, the payment of license fee for the fourth quarter will be made after adjustments and settlements of accounts for the whole year and on the basis of the finalised audited statement of the entity and latest by September 30 succeeding the financial year. However, the licensor will have the right to modify the license fee as a flxed percentage of AGR during the validity of license period.
As for platform service (PS), the guidelines stated that the programme transmitted by the DTH operator as a platform service shall be exclusive and the same shall not be permitted to be shared directly or indirectly with any other distribution platform operator (DPO). Total number of permitted platform services for a DTH operator shall be capped to five percent of the total channel carrying capacity of the DTH operator platform and a one-time non-refundable registration fee of Rs 10,000 per PS channel shall be charged from a DTH operator.
In the case of general sharing of the infrastructure, the DTH operator may share the DTH Platform infrastructure on voluntary basis. The infrastructure sharing of DTH platform will be allowed for DTH services and the programme transmitted by the DTH operator as a platform service shall be exclusive and the same shall not be permitted to be shared directly or
indirectly with any other DPO only and not for other distribution platform operators like MSOs or HITS operators.