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DTH: Govt to file against Tdsat order

NEW DELHI: The government is in the process of filing a civil appeal against the order of the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (Tdsat) which applied the principle of adjusted gross revenue for determination of annual licence fee by direct-to-home (DTH) operators.

"The government is readying to file against the Tdsat order," Information and Broadcasting Ministry sources told Indiantelevision.com.

An appeal is already pending in the Supreme Court against an earlier order in this regard on 26 August 2008. The latest order came on 28 May this year.

Incidentally, the DTH operators want the licence fee to be reduced, which they feel is seriously damaging their profitability. The sector is steeped in losses amid strong subscriber growth due to stiff competition among the six private DTH operators and low cable TV ARPUs (average revenue per user).

I&B sources said the government received Rs 1.262 billion for the year 2009-10 as licence fee as against Rs 893 million in 2008-09 and Rs 345 million in 2007-08.

The fee is presently based on the gross revenue – that is, the revenue earned from the sale of hardware such as set-top box (STB) and by way of charging carriage fee. This is defined in Article three of the Schedule of the DTH Licence Agreement.


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