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B’cast bill opens direct-to-home door

India creates new agency to regulate

NEW DELHI — Arun Jaitley, the minister for information and broadcasting, told India’s Parliament on Tuesday that the government will allow direct-to-home television when a new broadcasting bill is approved.

The long-awaited law will pave the way for both national broadcaster Doordarshan and private players to offer DTH services.

The government is in favor of creating a comprehensive regulatory group for the industry that will be called the Broadcasting Authority of India, which will have powers to enforce accountability. The new legislation is also expected to tackle issues such as piracy and censorship regulations.

Industry input

The government is in the process of formulating a comprehensive broadcasting bill within the next six months, and recently set the ball rolling by seeking views from the Indian TV and cable industry.

Several private players, including Subhash Chandra’s Zee Telefilms, Lalit Modi’s Modi Entertainment Network and Sivasankaran’s Sterlingsat ETH, have shown interest in offering DTH services.

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