Regulators clear Tata’s digital TV joint venture

9 Dec 2005

India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and the Wireless Planning Commission (WPC) have approved a proposal by the Tata-Star partnership to provide direct-to-home (DTH) digital television services. Tata-Star recently signed an agreement with the Indian Space Research Organisation to lease all twelve KU-band transponders on the new INSAT 4A satellite, due to be launched later this month. The satellite deal enables the transmission of around 150 digital channels to homes across India, including those in the most remote regions. The planned DTH service is slated to become the country’s largest digital TV platform, offering consumers a wide array of programming choices and interactive features. Prior to receiving clearance from the telecoms authorities, the INR16 billion (USD347 million) project was approved by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB). Tata-Star was established in 2004 with the Tata Group holding 80% and the Star Group holding 20%.