Chillin' out till it needs to be funded
After recommendations on retail and defence sectors, the regulators bit the bullet on the meda and entetainment sectors. TRAI stayed clear of upping the FDI sectoral limits for News and Current Affair channels or local cable operators. If this new dispensation is approved in 2010, the first complex case is already here, Reliance ADAG will have to reengineer its current deal buying up Digicable and merging its Cable TV operations with its own Big DTH. Of course Digicable being an MSO, it will also fall under the 74% limit in the new dispensation with HITS and IPTV networks.
What has been recommended by TRAI, the convergence regulator for all technology related assets in telecomms, is that FDI limits in non-news Current affairs channels be increased to 74% from 49%. Similarily FM Radio operators like Radio Mirchi (ENIL) and Big FM (Reliance Media World) can now bring in Foreign investors up to 26%, removing the arcane and insensible 20% limit. After such plolicy rationalisation across sectors, FDI limits will fall under 26%, 49% and 74% with or without automatic approval where up to 100% is not allowed.
FDI in DTH is also recommended to increase to 74% from 49%. TRAI has also recommended that prior approval be required for any investment above 26% and that restrictions on downlinking and uplinking be removed for global operators except for news operations. (sources: moneycontrol.com, digitalht)
We ahd earlier carried industry noise in this favorite industry hobby horse in June 2008 extracted from the TOI op-eds..in the India Infrastructure pages.