The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) on Thursday issued a new draft policy guidelines for uplinking and downlinking of television channels with the ministry seeking suggestions and comments from stakeholders. According to the circular from the ministry, the new guidelines are said to “address the challenges from fast evolving broadcasting technology.” The stakeholders are provided 15 days to submit their suggestions and comments on the new policy guidelines. The last major policy guidelines for uplinking and downlinking of channels were issued by the ministry in 2011. The new draft guidelines addresses several elements of uplinking and downlinking of channels including the operational status of a permitted TV channel, logo and name guidelines along with net worth requirements.
Dual Logo on TV Channels Would Invite Penal Action
The ministry in its draft guidelines said that the channels can only display the logo and the name that has been permitted by the ministry. Further, the channels presenting the logo and name that have not been approved by the ministry would be charged with penal action as the ministry would consider it as a violation of guidelines.
The ministry also said that a group or a company interested in uplinking and downlinking of a channel can apply on the Broadcast Seva site. The ministry would process the applications “from the standpoint of eligibility conditions” with the final approval subjected to clearance from respective departments including the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Under the guidelines provided by the ministry, the channels that are unable to remain operational for 60 days and have not notified the ministry would be deemed to be under the violation of guidelines.
Ministry Specifies Processing Fees and Net Worth Requirement
The ministry has said that the companies are required to pay Rs 2,00,000 per channel for uplinking under the annual permission fee. The companies interested to downlink a channel within India are required to pay Rs 5,00,000 per channel while those downlinking outside India are required to pay Rs 15,00,000 per channel.
The ministry also specified ten thousand rupees as processing fees for a TV channel and news agency.
The draft guidelines also said that a company is required to have a minimum net worth of Rs 5 crore for first non news and current affairs TV channel. Further, a minimum net worth of Rs 2.50 crore is required for each additional channel under the same segment of non news and current affairs.
Similarly, a company is also required to have a net worth of Rs 20 crore for the first news and current affairs TV channel. Further, a minimum of Rs 5 crore is required for each additional channel of the company under the same segment.