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RJio bags pan-India cable TV licence

Reliance Jio, Debentures, Fund, Stock Market
Mumbai:  Reliance Jio’s ambitions to offer an integrated platform for mobile and television services got a boost with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting granting a provisional pan-India cable TV licence to the company.

The move will pit Reliance directly against Hathway, Siti Cable Networks and DEN Networks. It could also threaten DTH operators such as Tata Sky, Airtel and Dish TV.

“We wish to state that Reliance Jio Media Private Ltd, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Ltd, has been granted provisional registration by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting for operating as a Multi-Service Operator (MSO) in Digital Addressable System (DAS) pan-India,” the company said in a statement to the stock exchanges.

The cable TV licence will help Reliance Jio offer television content through live-streaming video channels on mobile phones using its 4G network. It will also allow the company to utilise its extensive fibre-to-the-home network and offer users the capabilities to browse the internet on television screens.

Speaking at the recent Annual General Body Meeting, Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani had said, “Jio will bring true digitisation and a transformation of the current television viewing experience, and mark a shift in the controls from the broadcaster to the hand of the consumer.”

A multi-system operator licence will enable Reliance receive programming services from a broadcaster and transmit them to multiple subscribers directly or through local cable operators. There are nearly 170 million TV households in India, of which 120 million are catered to by cable TV operators, 45 million are on DTH platforms and five million are on terrestrial networks.

There are currently over 100 multi-system operators and six DTH companies. According to a KPMG report, the Indian television industry, estimated at ₹47,500 crore in 2014, is expected to touch ₹97,500 crore by 2019.

Jio is expected to launch its services by December.

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