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India OKs Star’s DTH TV service

World Brief

Rupert Murdoch’s Star TV has been given the go-ahead by India’s Information & Broadcasting Ministry to launch the country’s first direct-to-home telecast service.

The Times of India said Thursday that approval was given for Star’s Space TV on May 9, but neither the ministry nor Star have commented on the report.

However, there are concerns about the company’s foreign equity holdings. Under current law, foreign investment in a media company is limited to 26% of equity. The paper said Star had named local partners who would put in 80% equity while Star would front 20%.

But the finance ministry had said that since the domestic partners — G. Jagdish Kumar and Ajay K Sharma — were Star employees, their equity contribution could not be treated as domestic funding.

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