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Dish TV receives interim renewal of DTH licence from MIB till 31 March 2017

MUMBAI: Dish TV has received an interim extension of its direct-to-home (DTH) licence to 31 March 2017 or until the notification of new DTH norms, whichever is earlier.

The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) has granted the interim extension to Dish TV, a source said.

“Dish TV got the extension from the MIB on 22 September. The period is till 31 March 2017 or till the notification date of new DTH norms, whichever comes first,” the source added.

dish-tvDish TV furnished a fresh performance bank guarantee of Rs 40 crore (Rs 400 million). The DTH operator also submitted an undertaking to ensure compliance with the final policy governing the DTH licence.

Earlier, on 27 January this year, the MIB had written to Dish TV stating that it would have to agree to honour the obligations arising from change, if any, in the policy governing the DTH licence. The matter was related to the interim renewal of the company’s DTH licence.

When Dish TV’s licence period lapsed, the DTH operator had got a one-year extension. Though Dish TV’s licence had expired on 1 October 2013, the MIB has been extending the validity of the interim period on the existing terms and conditions in the absence of a policy on the renewal of DTH licences.

In July 2014, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) made recommendations on certain terms and conditions for the renewal of DTH licences. While the MIB is yet to give its nod to these recommendations, it is providing an interim arrangement for Dish TV to continue its DTH services in the country.

In its recommendations on DTH licensing, TRAI has sought for restrictions on vertically and horizontally integrated entities. According to the regulator, an entity that controls a vertically integrated DPO (distribution platform operator) or the vertically integrated DPO itself should not be allowed to ‘control’ any other DPO of the other category.

TRAI has proposed extending the licence period for DTH service providers from the current 10 years to 20 years. It has also suggested reducing the annual licence fee of DTH operators to 8% of adjusted gross revenue (AGR) from the existing 10%. The recommendations await government approval.

Dish TV, India’s first DTH operator, has 14.9 million net subscribers as of June 2016.

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