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MIB amends guidelines for obtaining fresh license to provide DTH service

The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting has decided to further amend the DTH Guidelines that have been approved by the Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this month.

The Cabinet had approved the proposal for revision of the guidelines for obtaining license for providing Direct-To-Home (DTH) broadcasting service in India. The salient features of the decision are:

  • License for the DTH will be issued for a period of 20 years in place of the present 10 years. Further, the period of license may be renewed by 10 years at a time.
  • License fee has been revised from 10% of the gross revenue (GR) to 8% of the adjusted gross revenue (AGR). AGR will be calculated by deduction of GST from GR.
  • License Fee will be collected on a quarterly basis in lieu of the current annual basis.
  • DTH operators shall be permitted to operate to a maximum of 5% of its total channel carrying capacity as permitted Platform Services (PS) channels. A one-time non-refundable registration fee of Rs 10,000 per PS channel shall be charged from a DTH operator.
  • Sharing of Infrastructure between DTH operators – DTH operators willing to share DTH platform and transport stream of TV channels on a voluntary basis will be allowed. Distributors of TV channels will be permitted to share the common hardware for their Subscriber Management System (SMS) and Conditional Access System (CAS) applications.
  • The cap of 49% FDI in the existing DTH guidelines will be aligned with the extant Government (DPIIT’s) policy on FDl as amended from time to time.
  • The decision will come into effect immediately.

As per MIB’s guidelines, a vertically integrated entity will not reserve more than 15% of the operational channel capacity for its vertically integrated operator. The rest of the capacity is to be offered to the other broadcasters on a non-discriminatory basis.

The existing licensees are required to apply afresh to get License for providing DTH Services in lndia. The issue of fresh license to the existing Licensees will be subject to their clearing all dues and fulfilling all obligations under the terms and conditions of existing license as well as those arising out of legal cases pending before various Courts of Law. No entry fee will be charged from the DTH operators holding license on the date of notification of these guidelines.

The Licensee will have to submit a Bank Guarantee from any scheduled Bank to the MIB for an amount of Rs 5 crore for the first two quarters, and, thereafter for an amount equivalent to estimated sum payable, equivalent to License fee for two quarters and other dues not otherwise securitised.

For existing DTH operators, Bank Guarantee from any Scheduled Bank for an amount equivalent to the estimated sum payable, equivalent to License Fee for two quarters and other dues not otherwise securitised. Further, the Bank Guarantee shall be valid for a year, which should be renewed on year-on-year basis in such a manner that the Bank Guarantee remains valid during the entire license period. The minimum annual license fee shall be subject to 10% of the Entry Fee.

Set Top Boxes offered by a DTH service provider shall have such specifications as laid down by the Bureau of lndian Standards (BlS) from time to time.

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