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Decoding the New DTH Operator Guidelines

On December 2020, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, in an effort to improve the ease of business within the broadcasting domain, introduced new D2H Operator guidelines. Coming after a long wait of 6 years, these guidelines aim at making the lives of new D2H Operator License holders easier by:

  1. Increasing the validity of the license and
  2. Decreasing the annual license fee.

Read ahead to learn more details about the story.

Also Read: What is Trademark Logo Registration

DTH Operators in India have never been at a good place

Even though India’s entertainment industry is going through the evolution, government of India hasn’t been lenient to the enables of these changes – the DTH operators.

DTH Operators of India have been crying rivers about the need of major regulatory changes in the broadcasting industry. Till now, the government had ignored their whales and have encumbered them with many regulatory restrictions.

Most of these have included ridiculously high license fee which is 10% of Adjusted Gross Revenue made by these operators.

As a result, the four major DTH Operators in India aka Tata Sky, Airtel Digital TV, Dish TV and Sun Direct have constantly butted head with the Government over the insurmountable costs.

The issue started in 2014 when the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting asked the DTH Operators to shell out the license fee of INR 2,066 Crore within a span of 15 days. Seeing this seemingly “unreasonable” order was enough to get the operators riled up.

As a result,  the big 4 among them decided to take the matter to court. After six years of constant bickering and finally realizing the government’s stance has to change, the GOI finally agreed to bring forth the changes.

What are the changes in the New DTH Guidelines

The changes brought forth by the new DTH guidelines have two purposes:

  1. To motivate new players to enter the broadcasting domain. Currently, it’s the hegemony of the four DTH Operator have made it difficult for new participants to apply for DTH Operator in India.
  2. Making the license fee fairer so that the current operators continue to operate optimally without being financially encumbered.
  3. To make the license terms consistent with the telecom industry.
  4. Promoting efficient use of DTH Infrastructure and satellite resources so that cost of service is reduced for the subscribers.

Following are the changes MIB has introduced for DTH Operators in India:

Increase in validity period of the license:

Before the announcement of these amendments, the validity of DTH Operator license used to be 10 years. It has been now increased to 20 years for new DTH licenses.

Decrease in license fee:

Before the introduction of the amendments, the license holders had to pay the license fee which was calculated by taking 10% of adjusted gross revenue. Now, the license fee will be calculated as 8% of adjusted gross revenue.

Sharing platform with others on a temporary basis:

DTH Operators can now share their platforms with other Operators on a temporary basis.

Also Read: 7 FDI rules to comply for IPLC License in India


New DTH Guidelines aim at making the lives of future license holders easier. How much of an impact these moves will have on India’s broadcasting future is a question that only time will answer.

For now, just be thankful that even you have a chance to enter in to the broadcasting domain. Introduction of new players like yourself can enhance the value of this industry and will increase future prospects.

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