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Higher requirements for Indian TV channel licences

Sunday 09 Oct 2011
The Indian government has increased the requirements for television channel licences, The Hindu reports.

Higher requirements for Indian TV channel licences

It has increased the net worth criteria for those wanting to start new channels, and warned existing ones that the renewal of their licences is conditional on their compliance with the programme and advertisement code.

The Cabinet has approved the Information and Broadcasting Ministry’s proposal, which aims to “ensure that only serious and credible operators are permitted to operate”, according to a statement. While India has 745 channels – including 366 news and current affairs channels – there are more than 300 applications for new channels still pending with the Ministry.

The net worth criteria for uplinking of non-news and current affairs channels and downlinking of foreign channels has been increased 70 percent for the first channel. In the case of news and current affairs channels, the increase is even steeper – up 566 percent for the first channel.

The new norms stipulate that one of the top-level management executives in the applicant firm must have a minimum of three years’ experience in a media company.

The norms also indicate that the government is giving more teeth to its programme and advertisement code which mandates that the broadcast content should not be obscene or vulgar, offend any community or denigrate women and children, or be against the national interest.