NEW DELHI: A sum of Rs 2400.45 crore has been earned by the government from licence fee from the six private direct-to-home players in the last three years.
Lok Sabha was told in a written reply by Minister of State for Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) that while “there is no restriction on the total number of DTH licenses, no new application has been received in the Ministry for grant of DTH license.”
He said that a sum of Rs Rs.836.52 crores was earned in 2014-15, while the revenue from licence for 2015-16 was Rs.816.15 crores and for 2016-17 was Rs.747.78 crores.
The Ministry has granted license to six private companies: Dish TV India Limited; Tata Sky Limited; Sun Direct TV Pvt. Limited; Reliance BIG TV Limited; Bharti Telemedia Limited and Videocon d2h Limited
In addition, pubcaster Doordarshan provides a free-to-air DTH services in the country from its platform Freedish, which only requires a one-time investment in purchasing the dish and linked set-top-box.
DTH licenses, under the DTH guidelines, are granted to those companies which fulfill the eligibility criteria, terms and conditions and are subject to security clearance and technical clearances by the appropriate authorities of the government. The details are available on the website of this Ministry at http://www.mib.gov.in.
In a related development, broadcast carriage regulator TRAI has set in motion a consultation process to explore whether the private DTH operators and other distribution platforms can share infrastructure so as to optimise their usage and reduce overall cost.
The TRAI proposal has elicited mixed response from DTH operators till now, while Hong Kong-based Asian pay TV industry organisation CASBAA has opposed any government or regulator mandated sharing on the ground that consumers will not benefit ultimately, apart from other reasons.