July 2017


Following the quarrel between Arnab Goswami's Republic TV & other news channels, the TRAI has informed cable networks that each channel can only be allocated a single listing in the EPG, i.e. a single Logical Channel Number (LCN).

The TRAI has threatened action against networks for what it referred to as "Material Noncompliance" but surprisingly, it has not pulled up channels for their malpractice!

The TRAI has clarified that MSOs must list all channels (FTA or Pay) in their EPG only in the genre declared by the broadcaster of that channel.

The TRAI has defined 11 channel genres, viz:

 GEC (Hindi)

 GEC (English)

 GEC (Regional language)

 News & Current Affairs

 Infotainment

 Sports

 Kids

 Music

 Lifestyle

 Movies

 Religious or Devotional


Internationally, strict genre implementation is essential to restrict access to certain channels - e.g. adult genre - on STBs to which children have access.


Often, Indian channels offer content that spans genres. Several Southern regional news channels - also carry entertainment programs to retain viewers. However, the I&B ministry requires that any channel that carries a news bulletin, for even a brief duration, must apply for a News Channel license. Each channel is also granted its downlink license only for a specific, pre-declared genre. It now remains for the MIB to enforce genre categories for all purposes, including distribution.