Govt toughens entry of new TV channels

The government has decided to increase the net worth criteria for those seeking permission to run TV channels in the country.

New Delhi: In order to deter non-serious applicants from "crowding the electronic media landscape", the government on Friday decided to increase the net worth criteria for those seeking permission to run TV channels in the country.

The union cabinet cleared an I&B Ministry proposal as per which the net worth criteria for uplinking of `Non-News and current affairs` channels and downlinking of foreign channels has been revised from Rs 1.5 crores to Rs 5 crores for the first channel.

Companies will have to show an additional net worth of Rs 2.5 crores for each additional channel, an official release said.

For uplinking of `News and Current Affairs` channels the net worth has been increased from Rs 3 crores to Rs 20 crores for the first channel and Rs 5 crores for each additional channel.

Companies would henceforth be required to operationalise new TV channels within a time frame of one year from the date of permission, the release said.

In the event of non-operationalisation of the permitted channel within a year, the Performance Bank Guarantee (PBG) will be forfeited and permission cancelled.
For non-news and current affairs channels, companies will have to sign a PBG of Rs 1 crore whereas news and current affairs channels will have to pledge a PBG for Rs 2 crores.

Aspiring companies should also have at least one person occupying a top management position like Chairperson, CEO or COO with a minimum 3 years media experience to seek permission for a new channel.

The period of uplinking or downlinking of channels will be uniform at 10 years, after which renewal would be considered, the release said.

For teleports, the net worth criteria would be uniform irrespective of channel capacity. The net worth criteria would remain Rs 3 crores for the first teleport and Rs 1 crore for every additional teleport.

Permission fee for uplinking or downlinking of TV channels and setting up of teleports would be Rs 2 lakhs per channel or teleport per annum.

The permission fee for downlinking of TV channels uplinked from India would be Rs 5 lakhs per channel per annum. Permission fee for downlinking of TV channels uplinked from abroad would be Rs 15 lakhs per channel per annum.

These amendments were proposed based on an extensive consultation with TRAI, the press release said.

Currently, the I & B Ministry has granted permission to 745 private satellite TV channels, out of which 366 TV channels fall in the category of news and current affairs and 379 in the category of non-news and current affairs.


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