Zee''s DTH launch approved

New Delhi: The Subhash Chandra-promoted ASC Enterprises will be the first company to commence direct-to-home (DTH) operations in India with the Indian government giving its final approval yesterday.

The company has set 2 October 2003 as the day of launch that also coincides with the anniversary of Zee TV.

Says Zee Telefilms vice-chairman Jawahar Goel: "We have already provided a bank guarantee of Rs 40 crore besides an entry fee of Rs 10 crore. We will be signing the licence agreement with the government in the next few days."

The company has planned investments to the tune of Rs 400 crore for both its head-end in the sky (HITS) and DTH operations. During the initial phase, DTH services will be promoted in the non-metros that are still not well connected by the cable network.

Through the DTH platform consumers will get about 48 channels initially, this is expected to go up to over 100 in a year.