The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on June 30, 2010 released the recommendations on foreign investment in the broadcasting sector. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting had requested TRAI to review its recommendations dated April 26, 2008 on foreign investment in the broadcasting sector in light of recent changes in the FDI policy.
The Consolidated FDI Policy dated March 31, 2010, issued by the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) has come into effect since April 1, 2010. This policy has modified the methodology of calculation of foreign investment in Indian companies.
The Authority, after consulting with stakeholders, has sent its recommendations to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on June 30, 2010. The key recommendations include:
(a) Foreign investment limit for the broadcast carriage services, that is, DTH, IPTV, Mobile TV, HITS, Teleport and MSOs, who are upgrading to digital and addressable environment, would be 74 per cent;
(b) Foreign investment limit for LCOs would be 26 per cent;
(c) The foreign investment limits would be 26 per cent for News & Current Affairs TV Channels and FM Radio;
(d) There will be no restriction on foreign investment for uplinking and downlinking of TV channels other than News & Current Affairs TV channels; and,
(e) All foreign investment less than 26 per cent would be through automatic route. Investments of 26 per cent and above will require prior approval of the Government.