Sri Lanka’s Maharaja group to be awarded satellite pay TV license
COLOMBO (EconomyNext) – MTV Channel (Pvt) Ltd, a terrestrial broadcaster which is a unit of Sri Lanka’s Maharaja group will be awarded a direct-to-home satellite licence, the island’s telecom regulator has said, as the industry is going through technological changes.
The Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka said in a public notice that it is considering recommending to the President of Sri Lanka to issue a DTH license to MTV Channel for five years.
The public could make representation or objections before July 12.
Sri Lanka’s Dialog Axiata group is now the considered the market leader for pay TV, with a 452,000 subscriber base which grew 36 percent in the year to March 2014.
The firm said it had 77 percent market share and penetration was only 15 percent.
Dialog TV mostly has international content, but MTV Channel is a domestic content production company.
PEO TV, a unit of Sri Lanka Telecom, uses its wireline network to offer a pay TV service.
DTH firms based in India could also be viewed in Sri Lanka, providing some cross-border competition.
Though many countries have tried to restrict their citizens’ freedom to access cross-border content, newer technological innovations by private industry are reducing ruler or ‘sovereign’ control.
Pay TV known as ‘cable’ is coming under increasing pressure from cross-border internet based television.
Cable originally started in the US, as an innovation to remote or mountainous areas that could not easily be reached by terrestrial broadcasters.