Dear Sir,

Please provide details on Government policies & rules related with TV content procurement from foreign countries and retransmission on a local cable channel, in India.

Looking forward to your guidance.

Thanks & regards

Ashok Kumar Jha,
T.J Cable Network (MSO), West Bengal.

As per current law, inhouse Cable TV channels created by a MSO/digital headend do not need prior Government approval, or a channel license. The Government had declared several months ago that it was planning to impose restrictions but there are no changes to the old law, on this matter.

That is the reason why several inhouse channels exists which provide local news and coverage of festive occasions such as the Ganesh Chaturthi festivities, local school events, etc. These inhouse channels are extremely popular and are often deciding factors why consumers opt for their local cable TV service rather than DTH.

Of course, the content of all local cable channels is the responsibility of the MSO/digital headend. According to the Cable Act the headend equipment can be ceased and cable TV operations stopped if the content violates the rules set out under the Cable Act.

The Cable Act specifically requires that all content must :

i. Be in accordance with the programme code (clause 6 of the Cable Act).

ii. Have the copyright to re-transmit the content (ie. no pirated content is permissible- clause 6.3).

iii. Be in accordance with the advertising code (clause 7 of the Cable Act).

As long as you abide by the above guidelines, you can procure content for your local cable channel from any local or international vendor. - Ed.