September 2018


India has been elected as the president of Asia- Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development (AIBD) for 2 years.

The move is expected to help the country in leveraging itself as the broadcasting and media hub in Asia Pacific region.

Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development (AIBD), established in 1977 under the auspices of UNESCO, is hosted by the Government of Malaysia and the secretariat is located in Kuala Lumpur.

The AIBD is mandated to achieve a vibrant and cohesive electronic media environment in the Asia-Pacific region through policy and resource development.

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The Foundation for Media Professionals on has urged the government to respond to allegations of interference by the MIB in the content of news channels. The alleged interference 'smacks of the notorious Emergency-era censorship,' the foundation said in a statement.

ABP News Managing Editor Khandekar had resigned from the news channel on Aug 1, and Bajpai, a primetime anchor of ABP News channel, resigned the next day. Abhisar Sharma was asked to go on leave.

Bajpai alleged ABP News asked him not to refer to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his criticism of government policies during his show Masterstroke.

The All India Professionals' Congress has demanded that the News Broadcasters Association (NBA) & the Editors Guild of India, "investigate the rising attack on freedom of expression and independence of the Indian media."

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Airtel Digital TV added 479,000 net subscribers on its DTH platform in Q-1 (April to June 2018). It offers 659 channels including 75 HD channels.

The DTH platform now has 14.6 million subscribers. Monthly churn reduced to 0.7% compared to 1.1% in the earlier quarter.

Average Revenue Per User (APRU) increased by ₹ 1 to ₹ 229.

Q-1 total revenue was ₹ 992.4 crore & capital expenditure was ₹ 180.9 crore.

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In a major setback to former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran and his brother Kalanithi Maran, the Supreme Court refused to interfere with the Madras High Court order that asked them to face trial in the decade-old case illegal telephone exchange case.

A bench led by Justice Ranjan Gogoi said "The allegation is that you used phones for your brother's business interests. You face the trial" the Supreme Court said, dismissing Dayanidhi Maran's appeal.

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Despite more than 100 applications pending for TV downlink licenses, the MIB has issued only 3 TV licenses this FY.

The policy paralysis is due to plans to change the licensing norms and costs. No decision has been taken, even though TRAI has declared its recommendations in the matter.

No New DAS MSO License Has Been Issued By The MIB Since October 2017

Only 1 TV licence has been issued in June 2018 - to Surya Processed Food, for its non-news channel "Surya Bhakti". In March 2017, the company was granted 3 uplinking licences under the name Surya Samachar, Surya Sagar Entertainment, and Surya Cinema.

No TV licenses have been issued in July.

The MIB issued 45 TV channel licences in 2017 which compares poorly with the 75 licences it had issued in 2016. It has issued 215 TV channel licences from June 2014 to December 2017.

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I&B minister R. Rathore has clarified in the Rajya Sabha "The government has not set any deadline for use of foreign transponders by the TV channel owners." He was replying to a query why some TV channels were using foreign transponders even after expiry of a government deadline.

The government has been dragging its feet & delaying various clearances to TV channels hosted on foreign satellites, nudging them to migrate to ISRO's satellites.

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Entertainment Tax has been subsumed in GST. However, local bodies and municipalities can still levy entertainment tax, within their municipal limits.

Vide a July 9 gazette notification of its Urban Administration & Housing Development (UAHD), the Bhopal Municipal Council (BMC) has decided to levy a flat 15% entertainment tax on all cinema halls.

There was a proposal to also levy entertainment tax on Cable TV. However, a memorandum by both Congress and BJP corporators sought exemption for Cable TV. BMC council members argued that some relaxation be given for the less well-off. For now, cess on cable TV subscription has been postponed," said BMC mayor Alok Sharma.

"BMC is dependent on cess and taxes," said Sharma, supporting the levy of the new tax.

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Answering queries in parliament, MIB Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore said there was "No proposal to acquire the broadcast rights' for live telecast of Test series between India and England, and the Cricket World Cup in 2019."

He clarified that "Live telecast of cricket matches was being done on Doordarshan Sports channel under the Sports Broadcasting Signals (Mandatory Sharing with Prasar Bharati) Act, 2007, which was passed by the Parliament and notified the same year. These matches included the ongoing cricket series between India and England comprising three T20s and three one-dayers."

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