MIB allows infra sharing among DTH firms
The total number of permitted PS channels per operator will be capped at 5% of the total channel carriage capacity, the ministry has said
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has brought Platform Service (PS) channels operated by the direct-to-home (DTH) platforms under the regulatory framework. At the same time, the ministry has allowed infrastructure sharing among DTH companies.
The ministry has issued guidelines that provide the operational framework with respect to the payment of licence fees, PS channels, and sharing of infrastructure by DTH operators. These operational guidelines have come into effect from 16th September 2022.
As per the guidelines, the total number of permitted PS channels per operator will be capped at 5% of the total channel carriage capacity. All PS channels will carry the caption ‘Platform Services’ to distinguish them from the linear channels. DTH operators will have to pay a one-time non-refundable registration fee of Rs 10,000 per PS channel.
PS channels have been defined as programmes transmitted by distribution platform operators (DPOs) exclusively to their own subscribers and do not include Doordarshan channels and registered TV channels. PS shall not include foreign TV channels that are not registered in India.
The content of the PS will have to be exclusive to the platform and is not to be shared directly or indirectly with any other DPO. ln case the same programme is found available on the PS of any other DPO, the MIB may issue directions to immediately stop the transmission of such programme. The MIB also reserves the right to cancel the registration of PS channels that violate the guidelines.
All PS channels must be placed together under the genre ‘Platform Services’ in the Electronic Programme Guide (EPG) along with their Maximum Retail Price and option for activation/de-activation of PS as per the applicable orders/directions/regulation(s) of TRAI.
The licensee will have to pay an annual fee equivalent to 8% of its Adjusted Gross Revenue, calculated by excluding GST from Gross Revenue (GR) as reflected in the audited accounts of the Company for that particular financial year. The minimum annual licence fee will be subject to 10% of the Entry Fee. The fee is to be paid on a quarterly basis, the quantum thereof to be equal to the actual License Fee payable for the preceding quarter.
On infrastructure sharing among DTH operators, the guidelines note that the DTH operator may share the DTH Platform infrastructure on a voluntary basis. However, the infrastructure sharing of the DTH platform will be allowed for DTH services only and not for other DPOs like MSOs or HITS operators.
For infrastructure sharing the new applicant and existing licensee will have to jointly submit a detailed proposal for infrastructure sharing giving details of the infrastructure proposed to be shared and the manner in which it is proposed to be shared as well as the roles and responsibilities of each to Min of l&B with a copy to Wireless Planning and Coordination (WPC) and Network Operations Control Center (NOCC), Department of Telecom (DoT).
The sharing of the satellite resources and uplinking infrastructure (on a voluntary basis) will be allowed with the written permission of MlB, DOS, WPC and NOCC, DoT.
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