The Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in New Delhi will soon apply to the council of cabinet ministers for permission to renew a memorandum of understanding with Measat. The memorandum to provide DTH services lapsed August 30 when the state-owned network failed to draw up a concrete plan.
Though the decision to let the memorandum lapse was in keeping with the anti-foreign TV hysteria among varying political parties about four months ago, Rupert Murdoch's plans to enter DTH is said to have caused a rethink.
Both Hong Kong-based and News Corp.-owned Star TV and Bombay-based native Hindustani-language satellite broadcaster Zee Network's plan to launch DTH services. Zee, owned 50.1% by News Corp., and Star aim to start DTH services next year. Long Beach, California-based DirecTV also has DTH plans for India, whose five-year-old satellite TV market has drawn 50 Indian and foreign channels.
Copyright November 1996, Crain Communications Inc.