The Tamil Nadu legislative assembly on Wednesday passed a government-sponsored Bill to levy entertainment tax on Direct-to-Home (DTH) television service providers and on Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket matches.
DTH services will be charged at 30 per cent and this excludes the service tax. This comes at a time when the DTH industry is likely to gain momentum in the state after the launch of government-owned MSO Arasu Cable Corporation, which went live without any of the popular pay channels, including Sun TV, Raj TV, Vijay TV and others.
There is pressure on cable operators to take the new offering.
For IPL matches, 25 per cent will be levied as entertainment tax whenever the venue is in Tamil Nadu.
In July, the high court here had directed the state government to amend the Tamil Nadu Entertainment Tax Act, 1939, to include sports matches, including the IPL, under its purview. In many other states, tax is already slapped on IPL and DTH services, the Bill said. Amendments are being made separately to the 1939 law.
DTH service providers transmit private satellite channels directly to the consumer’s house. At present, Kalanithi Maran-owned Sun Direct, part of the Sun Television Network and one of the prime targets of the new government, is one the largest DTH companies in the state. DTH penetration in Tamil Nadu is about a tenth of all subscribers.