Government has asked Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) to expedite its recommendations on non-discriminatory clause for direct-to-home (DTH) broadcasting, according to sources. The Trai formulation will be incorporated in the DTH licence, even for those who are already in the market. The non-discriminatory clause would make it mandatory for all broadcasters to share their feed across DTH platforms.
Tata-STAR’s 80:20 DTH application was made early this year, but no decision has been taken on it yet. Sources in the government said that a decision was likely only after Trai issues the non-discriminatory formulation. The move is to prevent monopolies in the industry, it is believed.
Currently, there’s only one DTH player in the market, Subhash Chandra-promoted ASC Enterprises’ Dish TV, which was launched late last year. And broadcasters such as STAR and Sony have not joined the Dish TV platform yet.
Interestingly, Trai chairman Pradip Baijal had recently told FE, in an interview, that “for sensible development of DTH, it should be mandatory that one content provider gives his content to all DTH providers on a non-discriminatory basis.” He had added that, “you as a consumer will be required to have multiple dishes, if this is not done.” The concept of exclusivity on DTH platform “is illogical”, he had said.