Sun Direct to add mandatory DD channels

Rebecca Hawkes | 17-01-2014

Indian direct-to-home (DTH) operator Sun Direct is to add the remaining six mandatory channels from state broadcaster Doordarshan (DD), as demanded by the government.

Three DTH operators Sun Direct, Tata Sky and Reliance Digital were all sent notices earlier in January 2014 by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, pulling them up on the lack of DD channels carried on their platforms. Each of the DTH platforms is required to air 24 DD free-to-air channels.

"Even before the notice was issued, we had initiated a technical upgrade that will facilitate to add more channels on the same transponder. We took steps nearly three months ago to import equipments and to upgrade our software," says Mahesh Kumar, CEO, Sun Direct.

Tata Sky claims it lacks the bandwidth on its existing satellite transponders to carry all 24 DD channels, and has told the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting that it is still awaiting the new capacity it has signed up for on India's GSAT-10 satellite.