As per the detailed guidelines issued by the government on Thursday, the sectoral cap of 20 per cent for broadcasters and cable network companies remains. The total foreign investment in a DTH broadcasting project, including FDI/NRI/OCB/FII, will not exceed 49 per cent, with an FDI cap of 20 per cent. Further, no broadcasting or cable network company shall be eligible to own more than 20 per cent of the total equity.
There will be an entry fee of Rs 10 crore for DTH player with revenue sharing arrangement of 10 per cent as an annual fee. The license will be issued by the government for a period of 10 years on non-exclusive basis. In addition each licensee has to execute a bank guarantee of Rs 40 crore.
Senior I&B officials said technical details relating to open architecture set top box would be issued separately.
The group of ministers for DTH, led by LK Advani, while giving go-ahead to DTH television service in the country in November last year, had warned against vertical integration and monopoly between DTH operators and TV channels.
Uptill now, several leading broadcasters including Zee Telefilms, Star India, Sony and Jain TV have expressed interest in setting up DTH platforms.
Subhash Chandra-promoted Zee and Sivasankaran-promoted Sterling Group have announced a tie up to put in place a DTH platform. The Prasar Bharati is also actively examining a foray into DTH along with one of the state telecom majors, VSNL and MTNL.