Up to 74 per cent foreign investment permitted in broadcasting services

The union cabinet today approved an increase in foreign investment in broadcasting services to 74 per cent from the existing 49 per cent, bringing it on par with the telecom sector.

Enhanced access to foreign investment would help expand the reach of broadcasting services, thereby improving accessibility of these services and bring in international best practices, an official release said.

The move will also make foreign investment policy for the broadcasting sector consistent with that of the telecom sector, two converging technologies, the release said, adding that increased investments into the sectors would also bring in quality infrastructure for the broadcasting carriage services.

The liberalised policy on foreign investment would apply to companies operating in the broadcasting sector for setting up teleports (up-linking HUBs/teleports), including direct-to-home (DTH); cable networks (multi-system operators operating at national or state or district level and undertaking upgradation of networks towards digitalisation and addressability.

Currently, foreign investment of up to 49 per cent is permitted in these activities.

However, beyond the 49 per cent permitted under the automatic route, up to 74 per cent foreign equity participation will be allowed under the government route.