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Vikram Kaushik: Broadcasters Shed Crocodile Tears
Vikram Kaushik
Age: 59 years
Designation: Retiring as MD & CEO of Tata Sky
Education: Masters in History from St. Stephens College, Delhi
Personal Interests: Studying Mandarin Chinese and French, yoga, reading up on philosophy and spending time with the family.

There are seven DTH players today, ARPUs are low; taxation, you claim, is high for this industry. What is the way ahead for it to make profits?
On the licence fee, TDSAT [Telecom Disputes Settlement And Appellate Tribunal] has now ruled that it should be levied at adjusted gross revenues and not gross revenues, removing cost of content, hardware and taxes already paid. Similarly, TRAI has recommended that the percentage should be reduced to 6 percent from the current 10 percent, so hopefully the government will look into it and we shall have a level playing field. The second piece of taxation relief in the near future would be from the state governments. We’ve proposed to the committee handling GST that entertainment tax should be rolled into the GST as one single tax.

Another issue is whether there is room for so many DTH players. Well, if you ask me, my answer is ‘No’. I think this country can take only three. I think after having spent thousands of crores as investment in this business since the last few years, the time has now come that shareholders will begin to ask, how much longer will it take and when shall we get the returns? So that shall lead to some pricing correction and the initial serious discounting we all offered to get a foot-hold in the industry will stop. This shall also move up the ARPUs.

Full Story: Indian DTH Blog

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