CASBAA applauds India’s move to increase broadcast FDI

CASBAA thank the opportunity to raise awareness of Indian foreign direct investment

The proposed allocation for increased foreign direct investment (FDI) in the broadcasting industry in India has been hailed as a positive step towards the digitalization of Cable and Satellite Association of Asia (CASBAA).

"Indian industry needs an investment of nearly $ 4 billion to upgrade your existing business services cable and digitizing program to unleash the government in 2014," Deepak Jacob, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Star India, said representatives to CASBAA in Hong Kong.

"For this to happen on the ground, you have to invest heavily in this sector, which is not available with national stakeholders. This is the reason why [IDE] should be 74% in all areas" in added.

Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion Council is preparing a Communication, for which foreign companies can hold up to 74% directly to home (DTH), cable TV, and the head to head in the sky (Hits) companies. Indian government should retain the FDI cap from 26% in average.

Currently, FDI is limited to 49% of cable TV in India and DTH operators, and 74% in companies HITS. Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has suggested increasing the limit for foreign financing of distribution platforms to 74%.

Increase is expected among other benefits, provide a much-needed investment in the cable industry in India, which is facing a heavy bill the state controls the transition to digital broadcasting by the end of 2014. India has about 116 million cable TV users, of which 83 million are currently analog.

"We are pleased to move to improve the restrictions on foreign direct investment, which will open up the sector to flow better and funds, and I hope that reforms in this sector will continue at a good pace. We are also pleased that India has already made a big step towards the digitalization of the cable industry services,''said Simon Twiston Davies, CEO of CASBAA.

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