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Tata Sky CEO: Digitization By 2015 Unrealistic; Private Satellites

Tata Sky MD & CEO Harit Nagpal feels that the Government marking 2015 as the sunset date for analog TV broadcasts is unrealistic. Speaking at Convergence India, Nagpal deemed it as “running a capitalistic agenda through a social framework” and criticized the Government for not doing enough for the DTH industry. He said that the regulator’s job is not to fix prices as is the case in the Indian market and competitive market forces should do that.”When regulators don’t fix the cost of a newspaper or magazine, why should they fix costs for channel packages.”

ISRO Behind Schedule; Private Satellites

He said that bandwidth constraints are also a major hurdle as more channels are being launched every day and ISRO is running five years behind schedule for satellite launches. Nagpal feels that the SATCOM policy must be put on table to open up skies for private satellites, otherwise the DTH industry which has invested more than Rs 4000 crore during the last five years would suffer major losses and investors will exit from businesses.

Entertainment Tax

Nagpal said that amongst the issues that plague the DTH industry, bringing DTH under the purview of Entertainment tax is a prominent one. He lauded the Rajasthan government for excluding it in the state, and criticized the Maharashtra government’s proposal to levy a 5% tax on the sale of copyrights of all entertainment and sports events to telecasting and distribution agencies, which would increase costs for DTH companies.

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