The new guidelines will apply to segments like broadcast carriage services providers, including Direct-to-Home, Multi-Service Operators (MSOs) and Cable TV in order to bring uniformity in the segment. So far, Cable TV and DTH were only allowed 49 per cent FDI. The new guidelines will not apply to the TV news channels and FM radio where the cap of 26 per cent has been left unchanged.
The government also allowed 74 per cent FDI in the Mobile TV segment which has a high potential for future growth of the Indian economy. Mr Anand Sharma, Minister for Commerce, Industry and Textiles said that out of the 74 per cent, 49 per cent will be via the automatic route and the rest will be allowed through government route, implying Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance.
It is estimated that India has close to 106 million households with cable and satellite TVs. Out of the total number, close to 26 million have installed DTH and over 80 million get feed from the cable network.
The decision to open up the broadcast sector follows the decision to relax FDI norms for civil aviation and retail sectors. In fact, the big ticket announcements made by the government on Friday are expected to drive growth of the Indian economy over a long run.
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