Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Radio on DTH: Will You Get It?

Radio on DTH: Will You Get It?

Some of you have been enjoying radio via the direct-to-home (DTH) services that you've subscribed to; however the future of the radio services being provided to you with the DTH package could be doubtful.

Some DTH providers have been offering radio services, mainly state-owned All India Radio and satellite radio WorldSpace.

So, what's the problem?

Considering that offering radio services through the DTH platform is a common practice in European countries, US, middle-east, among others; the feasibility of such a practice in India is yet to be determined.

With their respective reasoning, DTH providers have brought up this issue, with some being in favor of the radio service to be offered to consumers via DTH platform and the others against it.

Which operators are for radio on DTH, or against it?

As reported by Medianama, the following approve of radio via the DTH platform under various conditions are: TataSky, Sun Direct, Reliance Big TV, Bharti Airtel, and Worldspace Inc, which already provides a registration process for radio channels to be distributed via satellite onto DTH, IPTV, Internet and cellular networks.

In order to be able to reach beyond limited spaces, FM radio player Entertainment Network India Ltd (ENIL) too wants radio on the DTH platform.

On the condition of limiting a radio service in conjunction with the proximity factor, Radio Mid-Day West, which operates Radio One FM 94.3, also supports radio via DTH Among other conditions, it has added that "DTH must be a medium to provide the radio station on an as-is basis and not modify or insert any content to avoid copyright issues."

Dish TV, Zee Turner have been staunch non-supporters of radio services to be offered through the DTH platform.

The key reason for the Dish and Zee to oppose the 'radio via DTH' platform is their concern for offering FM stations on DTH being a violation of government norms.


The issue of "Provisioning of exclusive radio channels (with or without advertisements) on DTH platforms" will be taken up at the open house discussions conducted by TRAI on May 5, 2009.


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