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71 private satellite TV channels await green signal to uplink from India


17 May, 2007: Proposals of 71 private satellite television channels from 52 different companies, awaiting permission to uplink from India, are at different stages of scrutiny.

In all, 222 private satellite television channels have been permitted to uplink from India as on April 30, 2007, besides six channels uplinked from abroad which have been permitted to downlink in India.

Besides, 54 foreign television channels have been provisionally permitted to downlink in India, according to India’s Minister for Information and Broadcasting Priyaranjan Dasmunsi.

The uplinking guidelines issued in November 2005 prescribe two categories of channels: news and current affairs, or non-news and current affairs.

The Government of India has also sanctioned setting up of an Electronic Media Monitoring Centre to monitor contents of satellite television channels.

All programmes of satellite TV channels transmitted or re-transmitted through cable service are required to adhere to the provisions of the programme/advertising codes prescribed under the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act of 1995 and rules framed based on the Act.

The channels are required to keep a record of programmes downlinked for a period of 90 days and to produce them before any agency of the government as and when required, as prescribed under the downlinking guidelines

Only 25 of the proposals are in the non-news category, some of them relating to music, while the rest are in the news category.

The highest number of proposals – seven – is from three companies linked to the NDTV group.

There are four proposals each from Zee Telefilms, BAG Films group, and the TV 18 group, and three each from Malar Network, Maa TV Network, and STV Enterprises. Two proposals have come from the INX group. The rest of the proposals are from companies wanting to beam single channels.

While other companies are generally aimed at Indian viewers, Zee Telefilms has given a proposal for a Zee Music Russia channel, while NDTV has a proposal for NDTV Middle East.

While most of the other proposals are from relatively unknown companies, there are two proposals from Sahara India Communications and ETC.

There are some proposals from companies unrelated to television – one from a sugar manufacturer, another from an export house, a third from a textile house, and one from an advertising company.




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