TRAI releases consultation paper on media cross-ownership
New Delhi: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Friday released a consultation paper on issues related to media cross-ownership and sought comments from stakeholders on the subject.
The Information and Broadcasting ministry had earlier sought comments from the regulator on the issue.
In a statement released here, TRAI said the Indian media scape is witnessing several changes that may have far reaching consequences.
"Major players of print, television and radio sectors are seeking expansion of their business interests in various segments of the print and broadcasting sectors leading to horizontal integration of media entities," TRAI said.
"Also, more and more broadcasting companies owning television channels are venturing into distribution segments ie cable TV, DTH, HITS, IPTV etc while distribution segment companies are entering into television broadcasting, leading to vertical integration in the broadcasting sector," it added.
In its consultation paper, TRAI also noted the impact on the media of ownership by entities that are related to political parties, businesses or corporates.
"So as to ensure media pluralism and to counter the ills of monopolies it is felt that reasonable restrictions may need to be put in place on ownership in the media sector," TRAI said in its statement.
Restrictions on media ownership exist in many major international markets, it said.
TRAI added that media ownership rules should be so designed to strike a balance between ensuring a degree of plurality of media sources and content, and a level playing field for companies operating in the media sector on the one hand and providing freedom to companies to expand, innovate and invest on the other.