Scatmag.com

May 2017



STAR SURRENDERS 7 SPORTS LICENCES

Star India has surrendered 7 of its 10 regional sports TV channel licences, received in 2015. They were for Star Sports Bengali, Star Sports Malayalam, Star Sports Malayalam HD, Star Sports Tamil, Star Sports Tamil HD, Star Sports Telugu and Star Sports Telugu HD.

Three of the licenses were retained to launch Star Sports Select HD1, Star Sports Select HD2, and Star Gold Select HD, on the licences of Star Sports Marathi, Star Sports Marathi HD & Star Sports Bengali HD respectively.

"We have surrendered these licences because our business plans have changed and also because of the change in the regulatory climate," an official told the press.

The new TRAI regulation requiring any Pay TV channel priced above Rs. 19 per month, to be sold a-la-carte only, could be a major factor in the decision.

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3 TV LICENSES SURRENDERED

Aries Telecasting, Lamhas Entertainment and SGA News surrendered their licences.

Aries Telecasting surrendered its non-news downlinking licence under the name Marine Biz TV. The licence was issued in 29 November 2007.

Lamhas Entertainment, which also has downlinking permission for Russia Today news channel, surrendered its non-news uplinking licence Musix Xpress, which was issued on 14 May 2004.

SGA News' South Asia World uplinking news licence was surrendered to the MIB. The licence was issued to the company on 2 September 2004.


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COURT TO WIND UP MAHUAA MEDIA

The Delhi High Court has initiated winding up proceedings against Mahuaa Media and appointed a provisional official liquidator.

DEN Networks, Digi Cable, Wire & Wireless India Ltd (Siti Networks), Indian Cable Net Co Ltd (ICNCL) and DTH operator Tata Sky had filed recovery petitions against the broadcaster in the TDSAT, for a total of Rs. 33.44 crore, of which Rs. 17.26 crore is due to Tata Sky. These dues are probably for unpaid carriage fees.


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ACTION AGAINST ANALOG NETWORKS

The Information & Broadcasting ministry has asked authorised officers to take action against MSOs & LCOs who continue to operate / transmit analog Cable TV signals after 31st March 2017 (Except for Arasu in Tamil Nadu).

"Since only digital encrypted signals can now be transmitted over cable TV network in every part of the country, you are, therefore, requested to ensure that no analogue signals are transmitted by any cable operator and in the eventuality of any MSOs/cable operators having not complied with these directions/orders, you may initiate action under Sec 11 of the Cable TV Networks (Regulation) Act, if they are still continuing to carry analogue signals, violating Sec 4A of the Cable TV Act under intimation to this Ministry," the MIB stated.

The advisory has been issued after the MIB received complaints for carriage of analogue signals. Specific complaints received have been forwarded to the respective local authorities.

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WARNING AGAINST PAID NEWS

The MIB has warned TV & news channels against airing promotional programmes in the format of regular news items.

"It has come to the notice of the Ministry that some TV channels are indulging in telecasting the advertisements / promotional programmes including those of Institutions/Organizations offering educational/financial solutions or solutions for medical problems, etc. which are masqueraded as news items thereby misleading audience," the Ministry noted in a recent advisory to the channels.

Such programmes are often aired as "exclusive" or "live interview" with the management representatives of the organisations.

"The format of which is made to look like as if it is a regular news programme/panel interview/ discussion while there is no indication anywhere on the screen that it is a promotional programme," the Ministry added.

The ministry said such programmes are "misleading," & led viewers to believe they were factual news items.

The airing of programmes in such a manner would be considered as the violation of the programme and advertising code, & would attract penal provisions stipulated in Section 20 of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 and the terms and conditions of uplinking and downlinking guidelines, it added.

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1376 DAS MSOS

The MIB has to date issued valid licenses to 1376 DAS MSOs including the only provisional licence to the Tamil Nadu Arasu TV Corporation. (All earlier provisional licenses have been converted to permanent licences for 10 years. Also all DAS licenses have been extended for All India operation. There were relatively very few DAS-4 MSO license applications, and the extension to All India licensing, could conceal this fact.

Hence, 194 new DAS licenses have been issued since end February 2017.

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6 TV LICENSES IN MARCH

The MIB issued 6 TV licenses in March, including Arnab Goswami's Republic TV channel.

Of the 6 licences, 4 were nonnews and 2 for news channels.

Sony Pictures Networks India subsidiary Bangla Entertainment received a downlinking licence under the name Sony Aath. Most of the Sony channels are uplinked from Singapore.

Bangla Entertainment already has an uplinking licence under the name Aath, which is a hybrid Bengali entertainment channel.

Turner International received a downlinking licence to launch Cartoon Network HD.

Movements Digital India got an uplinking licence to launch Tunes 6 Music in Hindi and other regional languages.

Surya Processed Food got 2 licences, a news licence (Surya Samachar) and a non-news licence (Surya Sagar Entertainment).

There were 888 licensed TV channels on 31 March. Of these, 496 were non-news & 392 news channels.

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NO BIDS FOR FREEDISH

Doordarshan was shocked when it did not receive a single bid at its 11 April auction for carriage slots.

FreeDish had doubled its minimum reserve price to Rs. 8 Crores, which clearly upset broadcasters, who practically boycotted the auction.

The earlier reserve price was Rs. 4.8 Crores and the last winning bid in the January auction was 7.6 Crore by Sony Pal to renew its carriage for 1 more year.

"The Prasar Bharati board is seized of the matter. I am sure a clear path will emerge quickly," DD DG Supriya Sahu said without elaborating much.

The ABS-2 satellite offers a much lower cost alternate to FreeDish, for FTA channels to cover not only India, but also Bangladesh, Nepal & Sri Lanka, with an equally strong signal. ABS-2 also offers a larger number of MPEG-2 FTA channels.

Indian FTA channels are projected to reap Rs. 800 to 1,000 Crores in ad revenues this year, spurred mainly by rural audiences.



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143 MISLEADING ADS

The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has upheld 143 complaints for misleading ads during the past quarter.

These include Apple's ad stating, 'The amazing iPhone 7 is here', but shows an image of iPhone 7 Plus.

Other advertisers pulled up include Coca-Cola India, Bharti Airtel, Mobikwik, HUL, Nivea, Amul, Opera, Standard Chartered Bank and Pernod Ricard.

They included 102 complaints in healthcare, 20 in education, 7 in personal care, 6 in food & beverages and 8 ads from other categories.

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PITRODA REPORT IGNORED

Almost no action has been taken on the February 2014 report by the Sam Pitroda Committee, to revitalise Prasar Bharati. It had provided 26 recommendations.

The Department of Expenditure has expressed its inability to undertake the work of man power audit despite assurances in Parliament that it would be completed in the current financial year.

The Pitroda Committee recommended that once Prasar Bharati owns its assets, it can go for selective monetisation of idle assets and generate much needed revenue.

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DEMAND FOR DD ASSAMESE

A delegation of Producers' Council led by its President, Brajen Borah and general secretary Deepak K Dutta submitted a memorandum to Union Information & Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, seeking creation of a 24*7 Doordarshan satellite channel in the Assamese language to educate, entertain and inform the Assamese population, along the lines of DD Bangla, DD Odisha, DD Bihar and others.

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