Indian DTH players demand fair play

India’s DTH sector is saying that it faces extremely tough trading conditions in 2009 unless costs, including governmental licence fees are trimmed. Dish TV's CEO Jawahar Goel (pictured, left) warned of rising losses.

Currently DTH broadcasters pay a licence fee equal to 10% of an operator’s gross revenues. They want this reduced to 6%.

For example, Dish TV, part of the Zee TV empire, says that the industry faces a triple threat in 2009. “Industry estimates indicate that the losses incurred by the industry could double in 2009. We are subjected to a huge licence fee, multiple taxation as well as dollar-rupee currency fluctuations,” said Jawahar Goel, CEO at Dish TV.

Goel was speaking following a high-level meeting with ministerial officials in New Delhi last week. He added that the government must implement the Licence Reduction Bill to provide the DTH industry with a level playing field.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has already officially recommended that the Licence Reduction Bill be implemented.