After several months into a feasibility study, it seems
that Prasar Bharati is unlikely to invest in the Direct-to-Home (DTH)
broadcasting operations in the short run. Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd (VSNL)
and Prasar Bharati had jointly taken up a study to work out whether
investing in DTH was feasible or not.
Although the feasibility study is still on, Prasar
Bharati has more or less decided that DTH is not a feasible proposition for
it at the moment. This is despite the Prasar Bharati board giving its
clearance to the public broadcaster for investing in DTH last year.
One of the hurdles in the way of broadcasters moving
towards DTH is the sectoral cap of 20 per cent. Most broadcasters find it
unfeasible to make investments in DTH, with a 20 per cent cap. As for Prasar
Bharati, it was looking at a DTH venture with VSNL as its lead partner.
DTH broadcasting was cleared by the Cabinet in November
last year. But months after the government approval, not a single company
has applied for permission to start DTH operations.