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India proposes new cross-media ownership rules

Three Indian DTH giants will find themselves affected by media regulator TRAI’s proposed new rules if India’s government passes the proposals into law.

Advanced Television reports India’s Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRAI) will limit vertically integrated broadcasters (such as the Zee Group, or Sun) to ‘control’ only one distribution platform operator. 

TRAI is suggesting that a year be allowed for any restructuring that might be necessary.

The upside to the proposal is that the current 10-year DTH licenses held across the industry are to be automatically extended to 20 years.  Another is that the so-called “license fee” tax paid by each DTH operator is to be reduced from today’s 10 percent to 8 percent, and while most DTH broadcasters had been calling for the tax to be reduced to 6 percent the consensus feeling is that this was a definite step in the right direction.