Dish TV granted India DTH licence extension

Rebecca Hawkes | 01-10-2013

The Information and Broadcasting Ministry has extended by one year the broadcast license for India’s largest direct-to-home (DTH) satellite TV provider Dish TV.

Dish TV was awarded a ten-year licence to operate its DTH business, which was due to expire on 1 October 2013. However, in the absence of any Government policy on renewing such licences, Dish TV has been allowed to continue operations while one is drawn up by the regulator.

“During the interim period, the DTH operator will be allowed to continue their existing services, provided they renew their bank guarantee. The DTH provider must also give a suitable undertaking that once the final policy in this regard is laid down, the DTH operator will comply with that policy,” the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) said a letter to the Information and Broadcasting Secretary, according to Business Standard.

Dish TV has been pursuing the case for renewal of their licences with the ministry since April 2013, according to TRAI, which claims the matter had only been referred by the ministry to the regulator in September 2013.

“MIB knows well that TRAI has to follow an exhaustive public consultative process before giving its recommendations. The time left now is simply insufficient to conduct a full recommendation process,” the letter added.

Dish TV has over ten million subscribers for its DTH satellite TV service which spans India, and is one of six private DTH providers in the country.